Action on business rates tops Yorkshire firms' Budget list

Firms across Yorkshire and the Humber want the Chancellor to take action to create a better environment for business growth in today's Budget, according to new research.

Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Lloyds Bank asked companies in the region what they would like the Chancellor to announce in his Budget to help their business.

Taxation was the clear priority, with freezing or lowering business rates the most popular answer (27 per cent) and a pledge for the UK to have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7 cited by 17 per cent.

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Local firms also wanted to see action to increase investment in transport infrastructure, with one in five (20 per cent) believing it would better support their business growth. One in ten firms (11 per cent) hope Philip Hammond will announce an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance cap for SMEs.

Currently, the Government’s limit on the amount of business equipment firms can claim tax relief on is £200,000. Those surveyed by Lloyds Bank hoped to see this increased to £1m to encourage investment and small business growth.

A focus on skills to ensure businesses can recruit the talent they need was the priority for 13 per cent.

Kelly Green, regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Businesses across the region are looking for the Chancellor’s support to foster growth in this period of uncertainty. Unsurprisingly, infrastructure investment is one of the top things on Yorkshire firms’ wish lists.”