'MOVING Corporation Tax to 25% in one leap sends a worrying signal to those planning to invest in the UK', a leading business figure warns.

Beckie Hart, CBI Yorkshire & the Humber director, welcome the Budget for 'strongly protecting the economy now and kickstarting recovery' but said it leaves open the question of UK competitiveness long term.

“The Chancellor has gone above and beyond to protect UK businesses and people’s livelihoods through the crisis and get firms spending," she said.

“Firms across Yorkshire and the Humber will be relieved to receive support to finish the job and get through the coming months. The Budget also has a clear eye to the future; to ensure finances are sustainable, while building confidence and investment in a lasting recovery.

“Innovative ideas to boost the UK economy and strengthen our international trading links are vital to accelerating recovery. Awarding freeport status to the Humber region should bring benefits to local businesses and help the wider regional economy. With levelling-up a crucial ambition for government and business, firms will look forward to working with local stakeholders to make this a step in the right direction.

“The Chancellor has taken a welcome, broad view on how to stimulate growth, from Help to Grow and incentives to take on apprentices, to the creation of the new Infrastructure Bank. Basing the bank in Leeds highlights a recognition that all parts of the country must play a part in decision-making, and will deliver further opportunity for the region.

“The super deduction should be a real catalyst for firms to greenlight investment decisions. The boldness of the Chancellor on this measure is to be admired.

“But moving Corporation Tax to 25% in one leap will cause a sharp intake of breath for many Yorkshire and Humber businesses and sends a worrying signal to those planning to invest in the UK.

“The government must now have a laser-like focus on the UK’s competitive position in the round, including fundamental reform of the unfair Business Rates system. The UK must remain attractive for every type of business, from the innovation, high-growth UK homegrown firm to the global firms investing in the UK. We look forward to working with the government to achieve this.”