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Budget Comment From Caithness Chamber Of Commerce

23rd April 2009

Commenting on the Chancellor's Budget statement, Trudy Morris Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said: "Businesses had a need to see some positive news out of the Budget and we are fairly encouraged by some of the measures announced. The Chancellor appears to have taken notice of some of the recommendations put forward by both the British and Scottish Chambers of Commerce. We do however remain cautious on some of the detail where the Chancellor was not very specific.

We particularly welcome the Chancellor's commitment to developing the renewables industry which is a key industry for Caithness and announcement that he will provide new incentives for the development of smaller North Sea oil fields, helping to boost production and maximise the lifespan of our oil and gas reserves.

The extension of businesses' ability to offset current losses against past profits and measures to enhance the 'top-up' trade credit insurance scheme are also welcome. However we want to see how some of these schemes work in practice. We have seen the Government put in other measures such as enterprise finance guarantees with the banking industry but have yet to see any effective implementation on the ground.

What is extremely disappointing is the news that Fuel Duty will increase by 2p in September and by 1p above inflation next April. This will increase the cost of transport and will significantly affect businesses in Caithness and Sutherland.

As with every Budget and Government initiative, we await the detail and will measure the benefits to business."

The Chamber welcomes any business comment on how these Budget measures will or will not benefit their business. The Chamber can be contacted direct or leave comments on the Chamber's website at


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