Less than three weeks until Brexit, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has delivered his Spring Statement to the House of Commons.
In the wake of last night’s vote, Mr Hammond began his presentation by alluding to the “cloud of uncertainty hanging over the economy” due to the UK’s pending withdrawal from the EU, but insisted that the economy remains robust.
Following last year’s announcement of an increase in NHS funding, Mr Hammond said spending in other departments can be considered, and has outlined plans for a spending review to go ahead in the summer – providing that the government reach a Brexit deal.
Mr Hammond also addressed the issue of ending low pay with a 2020 pledge, announcing the investment of £3bn into affordable housing, and encouraging immigration of skilled professionals by removing PhD caps and paper landing cards for USA, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand nationals.
Bdaily collected statements from London business leaders across a range of sectors to get their thoughts on the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.
Alisa Zotimova, AZ Real Estate
Founder and CEO of property consultancy AZ Real Estate, Alisa Zotimova, commented: “Bar the pledge to increase affordable homes supply, there was little good news for the wider property industry today.
“I would have liked to see a review of current stamp duty thresholds across the piece, particularly for older downsizers who can help free up the rest of the market.
“With Brexit looming I would also urge the Chancellor to think long and hard about the additional 1% stamp duty for foreign buyers that is being considered. We’re going to need to encourage overseas investment more than ever and this punitive policy sends out entirely the wrong message – take your money and buy a home elsewhere.
“Let’s not forget that each home here also means money spent on restaurants, taxis and services, not to mention property industry services along the way – it’s all job creation and tax income.”