17788Businesses in the North East have called on Chancellor George Osborne to provide more support to encourage growth – in a new poll by Ryecroft Glenton, one of the North East’s largest independent firms of chartered accountants and business advisors.

The firm questioned businesses on what measures they would like to see introduced by the Chancellor in the Budget, due to take place on Wednesday 8th July.

Fifty six per cent of businesses called for a freeze on fuel duty while forty eight per cent said that a reduction in the Business Rate would help. Tax incentives were on the minds of many business owners and forty eight per cent called for a rise in the tax-free personal allowance.

Many (41 per cent) called for a greater emphasis on the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, which they believed would help support business growth and improve infrastructure – including road and rail.

Businesses were also asked about the fall in investment allowances from £500k to £25k due to come into force on 31st December, 2015 for the purchase of plant and machinery. They were asked whether they thought the Chancellor should bring forward proposals from the Autumn Statement for a more generous rate. A clear majority (85 per cent) of businesses thought the Chancellor should do this, while only 11 per cent said he should not.

Chris Robson, Managing Partner at Ryecroft Glenton, said: “It was interesting to hear the views of business leaders on what measures they would like to see in the Budget. It is clear that many businesses are not happy that the region is still viewed as the ‘poor relation’ compared with other regions.

“On the positive side, many do think the Northern Powerhouse is a good idea and will help to make the region’s voice more clearly heard.”

He added: “Practically everyone in the survey agreed that the region is a fantastic place to live and work. Many businesses also thought that better transport links including the dualing of the A1 to Scotland would make a significant difference.

“It will be interesting to hear what measures the Chancellor implements in next week’s Budget and whether these will help businesses of all sizes in our region.”