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CLEP recognises Chancellor's efforts to ease burden on business

CLEP recognises Chancellor's efforts to ease burden on business Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer. (source:

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has cautiously welcomed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s measures to ease the burden on businesses announced in today’s Spring Statement.

Mr Sunak cut fuel duty, raised the threshold at which workers start paying National Insurance by £3,000 a year and announced a future 1p reduction in income tax in response to the fastest rise in the cost of living for three decades.

The Chancellor used his Spring Statement to announce an immediate fuel duty cut for motorists of 5p per litre for 12 months – worth £2.4bn - to help drivers across the UK with rising costs. The cut is expected to help save the average UK car driver about £100, a van driver £200 and a haulier £1,500, based on average fuel consumption.

Other measures included a £330-a-year cut per worker in National Insurance, a reduction on VAT on energy efficiency products from 5% to 0% and initiatives to boost investment, innovation, and growth.

Mr Sunak said that, from April, the Employment Allowance would increase to £5,000, which he said was "worth up to £1,000 for about half a million small businesses" across the UK.

The Employment Allowance relief allows smaller businesses to reduce their employers' National Insurance Contributions (NICs) bill each year. As a result, 50,000 SMEs will be taken out of paying NICs and the Health and Social Care Levy, taking the total number of firms not paying NICs and the Levy to 670,000.

CLEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin said: “Whilst we still need to fully assess the implications of the Chancellor’s announcement today, we are supportive of any measures that provide support to assist our businesses in these uncertain times.

“Cumbria has a greater percentage of micro businesses than most other economies and as such the changes to Employment Allowance will help more businesses, here, than in many places.

“We’re also pleased to see action taken in terms of raising the National Insurance threshold. Anything that helps hard-pressed families, given current budgetary pressures, must be welcomed. However, we recognise that for many this won’t be enough to help them manage the current cost of living increases.

“As always we will do everything we can to support our businesses, which are facing one of the most challenging cost environments for decades.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that inflation will average 7.4% this year – forecasting challenging times for families, with real wages likely to fall through the year for millions of workers.

Neil Robinson, Managing Director of Tyson Burridge and the Chair of CLEP’s Logistics Sector Panel, said: “We have been asking Government for some time now for a fuel duty reduction on behalf of Cumbria’s logistics sector, which has faced unprecedented challenges recently. It is therefore encouraging to see that Government has responded to this request.

“The scale of cost increases that the sector and the wider business community has been faced with meant that a cut was absolutely the right thing to do.”

Mrs Lappin also took the opportunity to remind Cumbrian businesses of the range of no-cost business support programme on offer from CLEP.

She said: “Our small businesses need targeted support and we have a range of programmes that will provide exactly what each of them needs. CLEP is here to help and we look forward to continuing to provide the right support to all of our local businesses as they deliver their recovery and growth plans.”

Whatever your priorities, talk to the CLEP team about how it can help you. Contact the team at Freephone: 0800 069 6444 or email:

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