Commenting on the Chancellor’s Summer Statement, delivered today, BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said:

“Businesses will celebrate many of the Chancellor’s announcements today, although it is likely that the scale of the stimulus needed to help the UK economy restart, rebuild and renew will need to be greater still over the coming months.

“Targeted measures to help young people gain work experience and enter the labour market at this challenging time are welcome, and, so too is the focus on a greener recovery and the acceleration of key infrastructure projects. The VAT cut will help firms in the hospitality and tourism sectors working hard to restart after many months of lost revenue.

“Over the coming weeks the Chancellor will also need to address the ticking clock on a number of other key concerns – including the impending end of key business loan schemes, and the unanswered question around what support will be offered to businesses and communities that face local lockdowns.”

On the temporary VAT cut from 20% to 5% in the hospitality and tourism sectors, BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru said:

“The Chancellor has listened to our call for a temporary cut in VAT which will kickstart consumer spending in some parts of the economy. This is a welcome step and will help to stimulate a more rapid pickup in activity in those sectors and supply chains hardest hit as the economy gradually reopens.

On ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ vouchers, BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru said:

“While the Chancellor has listened to our call for a voucher scheme to incentivise consumer activity, the scale and scope of this scheme must be much bolder to make a material difference.”

On the Job Retention Bonus, BCC Head of People Policy Jane Gratton said:

“We look forward to seeing the detail of the job retention bonus to help safeguard jobs for some furloughed staff, but the best way to protect jobs is to reduce the overall cost of employment. Ministers must consider a cut in employer national insurance contributions in the coming months.

On the Apprenticeship Recovery Package, BCC Head of People Policy Jane Gratton said:

“The Chancellor has listened to our calls for a wage subsidy to help employers create high quality apprenticeships for young people entering the workforce in a difficult year.