Last reviewed 25 March 2022

We reported earlier this week on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement (see Fuel duty cut and NIC threshold raised by Chancellor), and his decisions have now been reviewed by a range of industry bodies with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

For the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Director General Shevaun Haviland said that the Statement fell short of the action businesses needed to see as it failed to address the huge cost pressures they are facing.

Although she welcomed the planned increase in the Employment Allowance, Ms Haviland said that the Statement was a missed opportunity to rebuild and renew the economy.

The Chancellor will have been happier with the response of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB which welcomed the Statement as a good starting point particularly with regard to the Employment Allowance and the cut in fuel duty.

However, the CBI echoed the views of the BCC arguing that the Chancellor had not gone far enough to tackle the current challenges facing firms.

“We need concrete plans now on how we get new nuclear, hydrogen and onshore wind investment,” Director General Tony Danker said. “We need more EV charging infrastructure deployed this year. We need post Brexit regulation changes that unleash the potential of our health, science and technology sectors.”

Both the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) felt that Mr Sunak could have done more to encourage firms to invest in training.

On a more positive note for the Chancellor, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) supported his decision to cut VAT to 0% on home energy-saving measures saying that this will help boost the drive for greener and more energy efficient homes.

Finally, the decision to cut fuel duty was welcomed by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), Logistics UK and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) with the RHA noting that the cut equates to a £2000 per year saving on running a typical heavy goods vehicles (HGV).

However, executive Director Rod McKenzie warned that, in the longer term, an essential fuel user rebate for coaches and lorries to bring UK operating costs into line with our key European competitors.