Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Stephen Marcos Jones, CEO of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), which represents companies large and small which design, deliver and manage our built environment, said:
“Rising inflation is the backdrop to the Chancellor’s update with the official forecast from the OBR peaking at around 9% in 2022. The resulting impact – coming after what have been two extremely challenging years – means difficult times ahead for all businesses in all sectors.
“Whilst our members may not be as directly exposed as those working in other sectors, inflationary increases affect every single company which is why we would have expected more proactive, immediate and targeted moves to mitigate current inflationary pressures on UK PLC.
“The review of UK’s approach to R&D investment, with a wider scope and promise of increased relief is welcome. Of course, the devil is in the detail, but this has the potential to stimulate more innovation from the private sector whilst contributing to higher productivity. Furthermore, we welcome the moves to review how the tax system and apprenticeship levy can be used more effectively to encourage greater investment by employers in adult training.
“We would like to have seen more targeted measures to support Government ambitions on Net Zero and Levelling Up. The Statement was a missed opportunity to drive progress in these areas and use them as catalysts for both economic growth and recovery.”