The British Chambers of Commerce has revealed its Autumn Statement wish list

Mark Sands
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Philip Hammond's First Day As Chancellor Of The Exchequer
Hammond was May's first appointment to the government this summer. (Source: Getty)

British businesses are calling on chancellor Philip Hammond to unveil a raft of pro-entreprise policies in the Autumn Statement next month.

Hammond will make his debut at a fiscal event on 23 November, and has already mooted using the event as a “reset” of the UK's fiscal policy, moving the government away from the stance of his predecessor, George Osborne.

And the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on Hammond to invest in infrastructure, incentivise business investment and demonstrate continued support for business.

In particular, the BCC said Hammond should vow not to introduce new taxes or charges on business until 2020.

This would bring enterprise policy in line with promises made by Osborne and David Cameron for personal taxation during the 2015 election campaign.

Hammond should also move to lessen the potential impact of the apprenticeship levy, which launches next April, and provide direct investment for projects like housing and broadband.

It comes after Hammond and communities secretary Sajid Javid launched a £3bn Home Building Fund at the Conservative Party conference earlier this month.

BCC director general Adam Marshall said: “The chancellor made the right move when he signalled his willingness to use historically low interest rates to invest prudently to support growth, and he has a golden opportunity now to use this fiscal flexibility to ‘crowd in’ business investment.

“Plans to lower business costs and support investment would help firms take risks and seize opportunities in spite of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process. Westminster must do everything in its gift to improve the business environment – and firms will repay that backing with investment, hiring, training and export growth.”

It comes after a furious reaction from businesses drove the Home Office to embark on a dramatic u-turn over plans to require firms to publish details of their workforce, including the proportion of their staff from outside the UK.

Home secretary Amber Rudd revealed the plans in Birmingham, but ministers have since been at pains to note that they remain subject to consultation.

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