Business leaders back Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement proved the Chancellor understands Britain’s wealth creators’ needs, say business leaders.

Last week he unveiled 110 initiatives to boost business investment by £20billion within a decade.

It followed a period of uncertainty after Liz Truss’s mini-budget last year, and comes as Labour woos business and financiers.

Hunt’s flagship initiative, which he said was the biggest tax cut for business in modern British history, was making the ‘full expensing’ regime permanent.

This lets firms claim back the cost of investment in equipment and machinery. For every £1million invested, £250,000 is lopped off the tax bill in the same year.

Approval: Last week Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (pictured) set about wooing the City ahead of next year’s election by unveiling 110 pro-growth initiatives to boost investment

Martin Sorrell, the executive chairman of agency S4 Capital, praised Hunt’s ‘targeted’ reforms, such as the permanent UK tax break on capital investment and the national insurance tax cut. He said: ‘It shows he is taking it seriously.’

Other measures included a £50million pledge to invest in skills, and plans to speed up the planning process.

Hunt plans to boost foreign investment, open AI innovation centres and end late payments for small businesses. 

Business secretary Kemi Badenoch has unveiled a £4.5billion manufacturing plan to boost industry.

And on Monday Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced nearly £30billion of investment pledges.

Airbus UK chairman John Harrison said: ‘It gives businesses like ours the confidence to innovate and invest.’

Fhaheen Khan, economist at Make UK, representing manufacturers, said that Hunt ‘understands industry’s needs and is committed to delivering a strategy to boost investment’.