Giving her reaction to the Chancellor’s statement, 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.
“Businesses will be pleased that the employment allowance has been increased. This long running ask of the BCC will provide a small amount of financial headroom for firms facing rising costs.
“But today was a missed opportunity to rebuild and renew the economy and ensure business has the resilience to weather the uncertain and volatile times ahead.
“The cut in fuel duty, though very welcome, is just a drop in the ocean compared to the larger tsunami of surging costs that is bearing down on firms and households. Smaller businesses are particularly exposed as they have neither the protections or financial support provided to households, nor the negotiating power of larger businesses.
“As the economic outlook is likely to get worse before it gets better, many firms will be forced to continue raising prices, further fuelling the cost-of-living crisis.
“We urge the government to take further action – including the introduction of an SME energy price cap – to tackle the escalating cost of doing business crisis. Firms need the headroom to keep a lid on prices, protect jobs and make investment that is so vital to sustaining our economic prospects.”
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.”