Call for new £1bn tax relief ahead of Autumn Statement

An emergency ‘first-come, first serve’ tax relief should be set up to encourage businesses to commit to major capital investments, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Publishing its submission to the Chancellor ahead of next month’s Autumn Statement, the BCC has called for a new £1bn ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ capital allowance relief for the financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15.

It says the measure, which would enable firms to write off the entire cost of qualifying investments, could help bring forward large business investment projects, and benefit companies in investors' supply chains.

The lobby group’s Autumn Statement submission also sets out a number of other proposals, including plans for a £100m ‘Growth Voucher’ scheme.

Under the scheme, 20,000 businesses with clear growth plans would be awarded up to £5,000 each to seek support and advice on business finance, growing their staff and navigating the business planning system.

Other ‘pro-growth’ measures suggested include the implementation of an ‘Export Voucher’ scheme, along with an additional £100m per annum investment in in-market support for UK exporters in 18 key global markets.

The BCC believes its recommendations could be paid for via cuts elsewhere in the Government's spending plans, including re-allocating any underspends from the Regional Growth Fund and means testing winter fuel allowances.

Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘Our message to the Chancellor is clear. Business will lead Britain's economic recovery, but needs targeted support and a confidence boost from government.

‘Ministers must be bold and take some unpopular decisions, including a shift of resources from welfare spending towards crucial growth measures. It won’t be easy, but the interests of the nation must be put first so we can ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren for years to come.’

The Chancellor will deliver his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 5 December – please visit our website again for the latest information.