Reacting to the announcement of the new Prime Minister, Sarah Howard, Chair of the BCC, said: “We would like to congratulate Liz Truss on running a successful campaign to become the UK’s new Prime Minister.
“She must now take immediate steps to support the economy. The last few months have been difficult for everyone, time is running out and urgent action is needed to deal with the costs’ crisis.
“We believe the country has already entered a recession and that inflation will hit at least 14% in the months ahead.
“Like households, firms have been telling us of unsustainable rises in their energy bills and how difficult it is to find new fixed term contracts to buffer against further price hikes.
“Unless the new Prime Minister addresses these problems head-on then the economy will drift further into dangerous waters and the outlook for both businesses and consumers will be bleak indeed.
“The BCC set out a five-point action plan to support businesses at the end of August and sent it to the Treasury and Liz Truss’s team. It is now imperative that we see movement on our proposals.
“The plan is not just about ensuring support for businesses. It is also about protecting jobs, securing livelihoods, and creating a vibrant and prosperous society.”
The BCC five-point plan to support businesses includes the following measures:
1. Ofgem to be given more power to strengthen regulation of the energy market for businesses
2. Temporary cut in VAT to 5% to reduce energy costs for businesses
3. Covid-style support by introducing Government Emergency Energy Grant for SMEs
4. Temporarily reverse NICs and put money back into the pockets of businesses and workers
5. Government to immediately review and reform the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) to help bring down wage pressures and fill staffing vacancies