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|Budget Comment from Paul Marston, Head of Commercial Finance, RateSetter|
|Thursday, 09 March 2017|
The Chancellor's proclamation that the Government places raising productivity "at the very heart of its economic plan" may not be front page news, but is nevertheless of utmost importance. The Chancellor noted that "higher productivity means higher pay", yet productivity in the UK lags 35% behind Germany and 18% behind the G7 average - and that the gap has not been closing in recent years.
Hammond did shed a little light on how the £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund is going to be deployed - infrastructure, science and innovation, research and technology such as 5G and better broadband.
But raising productivity requires much more than government announcements - it relies on businesses becoming more efficient and growing. Our research* shows that just under half of SMEs are looking to make their own businesses more efficient over the next six months, and we are seeing interest from a growing number of businesses in how we can help them realise their plans.
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