Comments on the Spring Budget statement

Commenting on the Spring Budget statement, a City of London Corporation spokesperson said:

On business Rates

“City firms are being hit particularly hard in the recent revaluation on business rates, with the Square Mile on the receiving end of a total tax increase of more than £100m a year, and rateable values rising on average by 30 per cent.

“Many of the City’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – which make up more than 98% of the entire City's businesses - could be hit even harder than this.

“We therefore welcome the Chancellor’s £300m fund to provide greater business rate relief, and we look forward to seeing greater clarity on how these plans will be rolled out.”

On skills

“The Chancellor’s recognition that developing skills in youngsters – partly to bridge the growing skills gap – is a positive step. We urgently need to provide young people with the skills that employers are looking for if we are to address the current disconnect between skills and business needs in the UK.

“Apprenticeships are a key way of upskilling our young people. Apprenticeships need to attract bright young people and become an essential part of employers’ recruitment mix.

“Raising the skills of youngsters through apprenticeships is a key aim of the City of London Corporation and we have committed to employing 100 apprentices by the end of 2017/18.”

On the economy and Brexit

“The UK economy has remained more resilient than predicted following Brexit.

“The UK financial services sector is an integral piece of the jigsaw when it comes to supporting the wider economy. In 2015, financial services firms contributed over £120bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy – 7.2% of the total.

“In order for the economy to remain as resilient as it stands today, it’s important that government secures a positive and mutually beneficial arrangement for both the UK and EU 27 as part of Brexit negotiations.

“As a voice for financial and professional services firms both in the City and the rest of the UK, we look forward to working with government as they work to enact their vision of making the UK the best place to start and grow a business.”