Association of FInancial Mutuals comments on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement
Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals, comments on the 2011 Autumn Statement:
"The Autumn statement sounded in many ways like an emergency budget- with a series of actions introduced to address an economic position that has clearly deteriorated markedly over the last few months.
"We welcome some of the strong language about fostering UK industry, and members of AFM are keen to explore with the Treasury how insurer funds might be made available to help support infrastructure projects and help for smaller firms. It is important that mutual insurers are represented in the Insurers’ Infrastructure Investment Forum that the Government is creating with the Association of British Insurers. This after all is the basis by which mutuals were first created in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It also reinforces ideas we’ve presented to the Chancellor over the last few years.
"Many AFM members are themselves small businesses, so some of the rate and tax reliefs announced will be positive for companies, as well as for their self-employed customers. However, for a government with a stated commitment to “foster diversity and strengthen mutuals, there remains nothing in the government’s planning to remove some of the barriers to the future success of the mutual insurance sector. And more broadly, with the statement providing a raft of new spending initiatives, the devil may yet be in the detail, as some of the fiscal balances needed are still to emerge."