The CBI commented on the Government’s announcement of a five-year Road Investment Strategy, which included a commitment to build a tunnel underneath Stonehenge and upgrades to the A1 north of Newcastle.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

"This five-year strategy marks a significant milestone in our journey towards the delivery of much-needed upgrades to our existing road network, the arteries of our economy.

“I’ve been calling for a tunnel underneath Stonehenge as part of wider upgrades along the A303, a lifeline for businesses in the South West, so I am glad to see it getting the green light.

“It is essential now that we see a commitment from all sides to take this programme forward in the coming Parliament, shifting our focus towards delivery.

“Our recent infrastructure survey showed how important infrastructure is to UK businesses, but with 57% fearing transport links could worsen in the next five years, now is the time for action.

“Businesses want to see a pro-growth Autumn Statement. That’s why we are calling for an overhaul of the outdated business rates system, which harms companies’ growth, and expanding R&D tax credits, to further improve the UK’s ability to compete globally.”

In its Autumn Statement letter to the Chancellor, the CBI is calling for:

Switching the uprating of business rates from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), alongside raising the threshold for smaller properties and more frequent property valuations

Supercharging the R&D tax credit to incentivise the domestic development, commercialisation and manufacture of our ideas here in the UK, and prioritising Government spending on science and catapult centres

Addressing the Annual Investment Allowance ‘cliff edge’, which is due to fall from £500,000 to £25,000 in 2016

Ensuring further devolution promotes local growth while maintaining the integrity of the internal market, including a common regime for business taxes, employment law and the labour market, financial services and energy

Freezing Band B, long-haul Air Passenger Duty tax.

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