FOLLOWING the announcement of the Autumn Budget, Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) is celebrating some of the changes and what they mean for the city.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, November 22, sparking mixed reactions across Hampshire.

Dr Paul Spencer, director of Winchester BID, although pleased with the budget changes, and what they mean for Winchester businesses, believes inflation still needs to decline for the economy to thrive.

READ MORE: Hampshire reacts to series of changes in the Autumn Budget

Dr Spencer said: “There are some welcome announcements for businesses in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

“A few highlights include the full expensing tax break, extension of the 75 per cent business rates discount for retail, hospitality and leisure as well as cuts to national insurance for employees and the self-employed and various measures aimed at boosting economic growth.

“Some positive news for businesses, but these remain challenging times for our national economy. We need more growth and therefore beyond these measures it will be further reductions in inflation and then interest rates which will further incentivise new business investment and help increase productivity.”

Other key changes to be implemented include: benefits to rise in line with inflation, alcohol duty frozen until next August, National Living Wage for over-21s will increase from £10.42 to £11.44 an hour, state pension to rise by 8.5 per cent and plant and machinery tax break will be made permanent.