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25 November 2015

  |  CBI Updates Team

Update

Spending Review and Autumn Statement: The CBI view

The CBI has responded to the chancellor’s 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review and Autumn Statement.

Image of Spending Review and Autumn Statement: The CBI view

Today the chancellor set out the first Comprehensive Spending Review and Autumn Statement of this parliament – a major economic event setting out government spending until 2020.

Carolyn Fairbairn responded by saying that this was a good spending review for longer-term investment in the economy, but that there is a sting in the tail in the size and scope of the Apprenticeship Levy.

You can follow live updates of today’s events on the CBI website here and you can read our full response to the CSR and Autumn Statement here.

Commenting on the positives for business, Carolyn confirmed that companies will be pleased to see the chancellor staying the course on deficit reduction, his commitment to an industrial strategy, and the emphasis on nurturing a vibrant business community.

Carolyn also pointed to standouts including maintaining spending on infrastructure; increasing housebuilding; support for energy-intensive sectors and for advanced manufacturing.

Click here to read our key asks ahead of the chancellor’s statement

However, while business recognises that there are tough choices to be made in balancing the books, she stressed that many are reaching a tipping point - the cumulative burden of the living wage, Apprenticeship Levy and business rates risk hurting competitiveness.

The Apprenticeship Levy - set at 0.5% - is a significant extra payroll tax on business and by widening the net it will now catch a greater number of smaller firms. The creation of a Levy Board is welcome, which will give business a voice on how the money is spent. The CBI will now work with the government to ensure a focus on quality of apprenticeships, rather than just quantity of places.

Click here to read our detailed views on the Apprenticeship Levy

Finally, Carolyn stated that firms will be reassured by the protection of the science budget, but the shift from grants to loans for Innovate UK could dampen bold and game changing innovation, particularly amongst smaller businesses.

The CBI team is on hand to provide more information about the CSR and Autumn Statement and its impact on business.  Please contact james.nation@cbi.org.uk to find out more.

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