November 8, 2023
Responding to yesterday’s King’s Speech, Denise Rossiter, CEO of the Essex Chambers of Commerce, said:
“An aspiration for economic growth was given prominence in yesterday’s King’s Speech but there was very little by way of new announcements to back this up or to convince businesses that government truly understands the challenges they face – among them inflation, which although on a downward trend remains high; continuing high interest rates and a difficult labour market with skills in particular at a premium. We would have liked to see the Government go further to help companies in challenging times. The Autumn Statement later this month will be an opportunity to make up this deficit and provide some cheer and certainty for businesses.
We agree with the British Chamber of Commerce that there are positive features in the King’s Speech, such as mentions for a modernised energy grid system, a forthcoming trade bill and high-quality apprenticeships. At the same time we would have liked to see stronger evidence of the government’s commitment on renewables and clearer messaging about how this sits with the need for a degree of continued reliance on fossil fuels. Here was an opportunity too to further improve the planning system to make it quicker and more efficient for businesses planning for growth.
Taking the Speech as a whole we think it is rather underpowered and could have done much more to support and reassure business.”