The CEA has welcomed some elements of yesterday’s Budget statement but made clear it would liked to have seen more done to support business growth.

Commenting on the Budget, Phil Clapp, CEA Chief Executive, picked out the following elements from the Chancellor’s wider-ranging statement:

Business Rates

“On business rates, we asked the Chancellor to consider the damaging effects of ever-increasing business rates on our sector. This year’s rise adds further to cinema exhibitors’ costs and comes on top on year-on-year rises since Mr Osborne took office.  It is disappointing that there has been no freezing of rates this year, and no business rate relief for our larger members.  We will continue to press the case for business rate reduction.”

New Employment Allowance

“We welcome the new Employment Allowance and the resultant reduction in the costs of employment.  Many exhibitors run their cinemas as small businesses.  All cinemas rely on attracting and retaining good staff to provide the best possible environment in which our customers can enjoy films as the director intended – on the big screen.

Cinemas are major growth engines and generators of employment, retail and leisure footfall and local economic vibrancy.  It would have been helpful if the Chancellor could also have laid out a path towards reducing the costs of employment by businesses of all sizes, so that we can continue to support and provide local wealth creation opportunities.”

Cash flow measures

“In principle we welcome the Government’s agreement with the payment card industry to reduce the time it takes for credit and debit card payments to reach small and medium-sized enterprises’ bank accounts by up to three days, by using the Faster Payments System to process payments.  But it is important to ensure that this will not add to business costs.”

Fuel Duty

“We welcome the cancellation of September’s planned rise in fuel duty.  This benefits our customers and our staff and business operations.  We hope that the Chancellor will now look at ending the escalator at least for the remainder of this Parliament.”

Full CEA statement