Responding to the Spring Budget 2022, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Managing Director Martin Hathaway said:

“This country is currently experiencing a cost-of-doing-business crisis and business owners need urgent support. While any Government assistance is appreciated, doing too little will only serve to harm the economy more and for a longer period of time.

“We stand by our members and the wider British Chambers Network in expressing our disappointment that the planned National Insurance rise is going ahead. We asked the Chancellor to consider postponing this by one year, allowing businesses the space and time to withstand this unprecedented surge in business costs, while many are still recovering from the impact of Covid-19.

“We welcome the fuel duty cut as it is no secret that the price of fuel is becoming a major issue for businesses and households alike, which cannot continue with these escalating rates.

“The temporary business rates relief, including the freezing of the business rates multiplier for another year, the establishment of Help to Grow, the extension of the transitional relief for business rates and support of small business schemes are all welcome measures that I am sure will do a great deal to ease the insurmountable pressures currently facing businesses.

“However, while the reform of research and development tax credits is a great stride to support UK innovation, I am concerned that it is only the already thriving sectors that will benefit from this.

“Government guidance states that this reform is set to boost sectors where the UK is already a world-leader, such as AI, robotics, manufacturing and design. But what about the struggling sectors?

“Many, in particular hospitality, arts and retail – sectors at the cornerstone of our towns and cities here in Yorkshire – are still in the very early stages of recovery following Covid-19.

“Failure to support these businesses will only damage and delay the Government’s levelling up plans.

“And these are plans that the Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield business communities could truly thrive from as soon as possible.”