Reaction as Liz Truss announced as new PM

By Ben Carey on 6 September, 2022

Businesses and organisations across the region have been reacting to the appointment of Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister.

With a perfect storm for the economy and a possible recession looming, support and decisive action is needed imminently to protect businesses and livelihoods.

Reacting to the announcement of the new Prime Minister, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said, “In these challenging and uncertain times for businesses, with inflation reaching record levels and energy bills going through the roof, businesses need a strong leader to help them weather the storm.

“With a recession being forecast by the British Chambers of Commerce, working to support businesses must be the top priority, as the potential scope for business closures and/or redundancies will only add to the financial woes facing UK firms.

“In our recent Quarterly Economic Survey, Business West found that inflation was the top source of concern for firms, while confidence in the UK economy overall was as low as in the depths of the pandemic.

“These issues are complicated, and yet announcements often seem to be short term or uncoordinated. In the same way that businesses need to plan for their own futures they look to the Government to develop and clearly communicate an economic strategy that address the fundamental and structural problems businesses face.

“British Chambers of Commerce BCC has recently called for the government to implement a five-point-plan to provide vital support to firms which asks for Ofgem to be given more power to regulate the energy market, temporarily cut VAT to 5%, provide Covid-style support in the form of Government Emergency Energy Grants for SMEs, temporarily reverse NICs and immediately review the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), to help bring down wage pressures.

“We know that good business is good for our community, so the new Prime Minister must act to ensure that firms can ride out this economic storm.

“Our current Quarterly Economic Survey is asking businesses to tell us what the incoming government can do to support their growth. We would urge firms to complete this so we can we represent and speak for businesses in our work directly (and through the British Chambers of Commerce network) with key decision makers, such as Ministers, MPs, and the Bank of England.”