UK businesses warn government must “get their house in order”

The government has been warned by UK businesses to support them amid economic uncertainty and increased inflation.

The Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Shevaun Haviland, said Rishi Sunak must give financial support to businesses to help them deal with rising energy prices, a national skills shortage and supply chain crisis.

The remark was made as part of Haviland’s speech at this year’s BCC Global Annual Conference 2022, which took place on Thursday.

The event brought UK business figures together to reflect on the turbulent recent years faced by UK firms, and how firms can develop new talent, boost a green economy and seize new opportunities.

In her speech, Haviland described UK firms as facing “the perfect storm” — due to 9% inflation and climbing interest rates.

Haviland also spoke of the power partnership has in supporting and enabling businesses, saying the government listened to business demands over the pandemic. However, she feels ”there is a clear lack of strategic direction” and called for the government to put support in place for UK firms to ”weather this storm” and develop a long-term, economic strategy for growth.

“The Government has until the autumn budget to reset, rethink and get their house in order,” Haviland continued.

The Bank of England predicts CPI inflation will top 10.5% by the end of 2022 before falling sharply, with interest rates expected to hit 3% by 2023.

UK inflation has soared as a result of the pandemic, lockdowns in China, the invasion of Ukraine and global supply chain issues.

The British Chamber of Commerce is a business network, which represents businesses of every size, sector and across every region in the UK.