A TORY community chief has called on the Chancellor to use his autumn statement tomorrow (Wednesday) to ‘make job creation easier’.
Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said George Osborne could support the ‘great strides’ already taken in the county by using a few simple ideas to improve opportunities for residents amid testing economic times.
He said: “I would ask that the Chancellor looks at easing the regulatory burden and other pro-business measures that make it easier to work with private businesses and encourage more companies to pick Staffordshire as a base from which to grow and expand.
“If the Chancellor could ensure any additional funding for businesses and infrastructure is targeted through the council and the local enterprise partnership, this will ensure we can target resources in the most effective way to support businesses.
“The Chancellor could also help with the on-going reduction in unemployment in Staffordshire.
“If the Chancellor could ensure small businesses are given a break from national insurance contributions or increase the lending from the banks, I think it would be an early Christmas present for firms.”
Councillor Atkins’ calls came as Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire, outlined his autumn statement wish-list.
He said: “I am looking for further measures to address corporate tax avoidance, so multi-national companies pay the appropriate amount of tax in the UK rather than sending their profits offshore.
“I am looking for action to be taken on fuel duty. The Government has already cancelled fuel duty rises planned by the previous Government but I do not think now is the right time for any increase in fuel costs.
“I also believe there should be new rules to allow pension funds to become involved in the residential property market in order to boost that sector of the economy.”
Councillor Atkins and Mr Bridgen spoke as reports suggested Mr Osborne would use his autumn statement to outline details of a new spending squeeze to free up cash to fund new schools, science and transport schemes.
Sources suggested the Government wanted to channel cash to ‘shovel ready’ building projects in a bid to kick-start economic growth.
It is thought £1 billion will go towards building 100 new free schools and academies, creating an extra 50,000 new school places.