In his initial reaction to the Chancellor’s Summer Budget, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“George Osborne has delivered a genius balance of politics and economics that provides stimulus for the economy while continuing the tough task of eliminating the deficit. Steady deficit reduction means the economy still has the oxygen it needs to grow.

“The Chancellor has confirmed that Britain is open for business. Firms across the UK will cheer not just the new permanent Annual Investment Allowance, further Corporation Tax reductions, and lower National Insurance for small businesses, but also commitments to childcare and higher education that help them employ Britain’s best.

“Companies will offer a cautious welcome to proposals on transport, training and local decision-making, but will want to see precisely how the Chancellor’s moves will make roads better, improve skills, and allow them more power to determine what happens in their cities and counties.

“Most Chamber member companies already pay their staff at or above the Living Wage. They will want assurances, however, that moves to create a National Living Wage follow an evidence-based approach, and minimise impacts on smaller firms, for whom adjustment will be harder.

“We hope that the Chancellor’s reference to the free movement of aircraft over West London is a portent of a rapid decision to expand aviation capacity at Heathrow, in line with the Airports Commission’s recommendation.”