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Chamber Comment on Budget 2014

Commenting on the Chancellor’s Budget statement, Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said:

“We welcome the strong support for businesses shown in this year’s Budget. It is good news that manufacturing output is up, and the £7bn package announced to cut energy costs for British manufacturers will help ensure continued growth in this key sector.

“We were also delighted to hear that the UK Government is increasing its support for exporters. Food and drink is a key growth sector for Caithness and one for which export – particularly to growing markets in BRIC economies – is a major growth factor.

“The Chancellor’s announcement that the scope of the Regional Air Connectivity Fund will be extended to include start-up aid for new routes from regional airports is welcome news for the tourism sector in Caithness.

“We also welcome the simplification of Air Passenger Duty, although we are extremely disappointed that the Chancellor did not go further in reforming this economically damaging tax – one of the highest of its type anywhere in the world.  It is affecting Scottish businesses’ ability to trade and attract investment as well as making the UK tourism market uncompetitive alongside the rest of the world.  More needs to be done and we will be taking it up with both the UK and Scottish Governments in this ‘referendum year’.

"Though the abandonment of September’s fuel duty increase is welcome, it's about time a long term sensible plan was introduced for reducing this burden on businesses."

The Chamber welcomes any business comment on how these Budget measures will or will not benefit their business. The Chamber can be contacted direct or leave comments on the Chamber’s website at www.caithnesschamber.com.