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[22 MAR 00] THE CHAMBER NEWS
Chamber Gives Mixed Reaction To Budget

Gordon Brown’s budget has received a lukewarm reception from business leaders at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber, who say transport and manufacturing have been let down.

But there were some positive notes for small and medium businesses in the area with reductions in Capital Gains Tax and the announcement of a 250 million investment to support the Midlands region.

Chamber president Isabella Moore said she had deep reservations about the amount of money being spent on transport.

She said:

"The 280 million set aside to help improve transport links in this country will not go far down the road of recovery to put the UK in line with its European counterparts.

"Here at The Chamber we are also disappointed the Chancellor has failed to address the problems faced by manufacturers in the Midlands.

"Coupled with a strong pound and the imminent closure of the Rover plant in Longbridge, it is vital that help is made available for those who are suffering."

She added that The Chamber was also concerned about Gordon Brown’s failure to mention the current Rover situation in his statement.

But there were some positive points from his speech, including the decision to cut Capital Gains Tax from 40 per cent to 10 per cent by 2004.

And the 100 per cent tax allowances for small business investing in e-commerce were also applauded.

Chamber area director Nick Madeley said the 250 million investment into the West and East Midlands would benefit businesses in the area.

He said:

"This is a boost to innovators in Coventry and Warwickshire. By encouraging cluster groups to form it will help this country to lead the way in technological developments now and in the future."

SEE: [21 MAR 00] HOSPITALS GET WELCOME BUDGET BOOST
SEE: [21 MAR 00] WARWICK PROFESSOR SLAMS BUDGET
   

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CWN / Business / The Chamber / 22 Mar 00

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