Spring Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee 1:17 pm, 13th March 2019

In today’s forecast from the OBR, GDP growth this year is being revised down by 0.4%. The largest downward revision is to business investment—a downward revision of 3.2%. Business investment is now expected to shrink by 1% this year after shrinking by 1% last year. The Federation of Small Businesses says today that confidence is at “rock bottom”. The CBI says on tariffs that there has been

“no consultation with business and no time to prepare”,

and that this is

“a sledgehammer for our economy.”

Does the Chancellor recognise that businesses are losing patience with this Government and that unless businesses invest and help to grow our economy, productivity and wages are going to stay at rock bottom? What is he going to do to reverse this incredibly worrying and dangerous reduction in business investment?