The University of Wolverhampton held a live Autumn budget event last season. Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the budget. Amongst various topics in the event, there was also a Q&A session by an expert panel. The panel was chaired by Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber, Corin Crane, and also consisted of Martin Dudley, Director at Thomas Dudley; Tracey Jackson Business Development Manager at Howells Glazing; Francesca Hutchinson Tax Director at Dyke Yaxley, Paul Kalinauckas, Chief Executive of BCRS Business Loans and economist Dr Ian Jackson of the University’s Business School.
In the event, the experts talked about their views. Dr Ian Jackson of The University of Wolverhampton said it had been a “missed opportunity to bolster the local economy.”
Howells Patent Glazing director Tracey Jackson showed her disappointment for the lack of budget for micro and medium-sized firms. She was particularly concerned about the lack of help with research and development support or relief on corporation tax.
She said: “We also needed something to help small companies over pensions which are crippling for us. Bigger companies seem to cope better.”
Paul Kalinauckas, chief executive of Wolverhampton-based BCRS Business Loans saw the positives of the budget. “The reduction in business rates for small shops was a positive step,” he added.
Meanwhile, Great Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said that while there were plenty of positive announcements for businesses, but, there was no mention of Greater Birmingham or the West Midlands.
Henrietta Brealey, policy and strategic relations director at GBCC showed dissatisfaction: “While devolved nations, the Northern Powerhouse and beyond received a number of nods, the news for the West Midlands was buried in the Budget Red Book.”
“It is clear from the announcements that there is still work to be done on promoting further devolution to English regions which still lag behind devolved nations and London on funding.”
By Khairul Azam