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Sussex Chamber of Commerce Policy Updates

Sussex Chamber Policy Updates

Businesses Want Action On Rail Disruption

09th January 2017

Today Chambers from the South East of England met with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Rail Minister Paul Maynard to discuss the ongoing rail disruption. Speaking together after the meeting, representatives from Hampshire, London, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley Chambers, said:

"Business communities and commuters across the South East of England are impatient for action after nearly a year of unpredictable and costly disruption. While firms have taken every step possible to support staff affected by strike action, businesses and local economies are hurting. It is incumbent upon all parties in the dispute to come to the table and reach a durable solution."


Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), added:

"Business communities elsewhere in the UK are also watching with great concern. A wave of further rail strikes like the one in the South East would hit investment, job creation and confidence - and undermine the livelihoods of millions of people."


Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

“London businesses and commuters are facing a double-whammy this week as they face disruption from both train and tube strikes. A resolution between all the parties involved in these actions is needed urgently to prevent further and unnecessary disturbances to workers in the city and surrounding areas.”

South East Region Airport Capacity

David Sheppard, Chairman of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce comments:

We are fundamentally and completely in favour of Gatwick over Heathrow and will continue to tirelessly support Gatwick in this regard. Irrespective of which airport is chosen, our priority demand is that work starts quickly and the prevarication ends in order that the region has its additional capacity in place to meet our business needs. The British Chambers of Commerce Director General called the Government’s delay gutless, a view I think we can all sympathise with. Despite this, let us hope that the continued delay tilts the balance in favour of Gatwick.

Sussex Chamber of Commerce address the 2016 Budget Announcement

Comments from David Shepard, Chairman and Ana Christie, Chief Executive.

For Sussex businesses todays statement looks to be a positive budget which is providing some significant benefits around a reduction in business rates, the removal of commercial property stamp duty in some areas, reduction in capital gains tax, reduction in corporation tax, abolishment of NICs for self employed together with a further freeze on fuel duty. These are not all immediate but phased over the next few years.

As far as we can see there are no additional burdens on our business community although there is a significant tightening up on tax avoidance for larger corporate companies.

In general this is providing a breathing space for businesses in the run up to the EU Referendum and together with a global uncertainty and volatility is creating a great deal of business insecurity.

From an individual’s perspective the new thresholds on personal tax allowances and new lifetime ISA will be greatly welcomed.

However we are really disappointed on behalf of the South East that there was a complete focus on investment and devolution in the North, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, East Anglia and the Midlands areas of the country with no mention of the South East or Sussex apart from Southampton regarding sugary drinks.

Although todays employment figures are positive the Chancellor downgraded UKs productivity forecast and businesses have to be careful that new employment does not just increase costs and therefore decrease global competitiveness.