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Autumn Statement 2016: Reaction

Philip Hammond has now delivered his first Autumn Statement as chancellor to the House of Commons.

Billed as a statement that would enhance the strengths of the UK economy as well as tackling its long-term weaknesses, the speech contained measures relating to investment, infrastructure and personal taxation.

Here is a round-up of immediate reactions from some of the UK’s leading industry groups:

British Chambers of Commerce 

Adam Marshall, director general of British Chambers of Commerce said the chancellor’s statement will provide reassurance for businesses and markets:

“The fact that he chose to commit significant new resources to support growth and productivity demonstrates welcome flexibility during a period of uncertainty and change.” 

Federation of Small Businesses

Mike Cherry, national chairman at Federation of Small Businesses was optimistic on the business plans announced:

“We welcome the government responding to our calls to increase investment in local roads and digital connectivity to help rebalance the UK economy.

“But there will need to be stronger fiscal interventions to boost the economy next year, with the prospect of weaker longer-term growth looming.” 

Fidelity International

Commenting on the infrastructure investment fund, Tom Stevenson, investment director at Fidelity International said:

“Infrastructure investment companies could win if they can access the projects receiving a state boost while commitments to expanding internet coverage should help companies providing internet connections and network maintenance.”

Aegon

On the announcement that the money purchase annual allowance will be lowered to £4,000, Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said:

“Most people exercising pension freedoms won’t realise this currently reduces their ability to pay future pension contributions…However, reducing the cap on post freedom pension contributions to £4,000 makes it much more important to think ahead.” 

Citizens Advice

Commenting on the reduction of the universal credit taper rate, Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Helping people on universal credit get the most from their earnings is the right intention but it won’t fully offset the cuts to the work allowance.” 

Read our other news stories outlining measures affecting businesses and personal finances, as well as a round-up of other headline announcements.