The Essex Chambers of Commerce broadly welcomed the measures announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement, but recognise that more could have been done to support the cost of doing business crisis. Quite understandably, the focus of the Spring Statement has been on supporting individuals and families manage the cost of living.
Denise Rossiter, Essex Chamber’s Chief Executive, said: “We would have liked to see more done by the Chancellor, with inflation running at a 30-year- high, Essex businesses are under huge pressure to manage their cost base and could be forced to raise their prices to combat the rising cost of doing business”.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) expects the surge to continue over coming months as the energy price cap rise, the reversal of the hospitality VAT cut and upward pressure on energy and commodity prices from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to bite. Shevaun Haviland, director general of the BCC, said: “The Spring Statement falls short of the action businesses needed to see today. While there are some positive announcements that firms will welcome, it did not fundamentally address the huge cost pressures they are facing.
On the Chancellor’s priorities for the Autumn Budget, Director General Haviland said:
“Businesses will welcome the Chancellor’s firm commitment to cut taxes on business investment, something chamber business communities have long called for. Turbocharging investment is crucial to boosting productivity, levelling-up and the transition to net zero. We look forward to working closely with ministers on driving stronger business investment and reform to the apprenticeship levy and R&D tax credits.”