This week the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) responded to the announcement of new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
“Congratulations to the new Prime Minister. He has a track record of seeing the economy through difficult times and is now coming in at a time of great uncertainty with tough choices ahead.
“The new Prime Minister can lose no time in easing the impact of market turmoil on households and firms, and helping to restore fiscal credibility.
“A fiscal plan for the medium-term next week that is both credible and a platform to generate economic growth will be central to achieving that.”
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“We would like to congratulate Rishi Sunak on his appointment as Prime Minister.
“The political and economic uncertainty of the past few months has been hugely damaging to British business confidence and must now come to an end.
“The new Prime Minister must be a steady hand on the tiller to see the economy through the challenging conditions ahead.
“This means setting out fully costed plans to deal with the big issues facing businesses; soaring energy bills, labour shortages, spiralling inflation, and climbing interest rates.
“We cannot afford to see any more flip-flopping on policies - the UK’s businesses need a sustainable, long-term economic plan they can believe in.
“The BCC is writing to the Prime Minister to set out the action needed to tackle the main challenges facing business. It is vital we see progress made in these areas to keep doors open and promote investment.
“Firstly, the Government must provide more certainty on the energy support package for businesses and quickly communicate how the system will work from April. Firms need to know what support to expect in the medium and long term.
“Secondly, they must fix the extremely tight labour market. Without the skilled people to do the jobs businesses need, the economy will stagnate.
“Thirdly, to grow the economy, Government must set out a strategy to boost our international trade and exports.
“People run businesses and businesses rely on people. The new administration must grasp that the cost of living and cost of doing business crises are two sides of the same coin.
“We need a clear long-term vision of how the new Prime Minister will deal with the challenges ahead and create the business conditions that allow firms, and the communities that rely on them, to thrive.”
The Federation of Small Business’ Scotland Policy Chair Andrew McRae said:
“Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on becoming Prime Minister. The focus of his government must now be on stabilising the economy, delivering the promised support for small firms on energy bills and cutting National Insurance, and securing growth and prosperity in the medium and long term.
“This appointment must bring with it an end to the political turmoil which has gripped the nation over the last few months. Small firms who were able to weather the Covid-19 crisis are now faced with mounting costs, fewer customers, staff shortages and a stormy outlook. In this climate, pro-business measures will be needed to secure prosperity in the medium and long term. That includes the right tax and regulatory framework, including keeping pre-profit taxes such as National Insurance as low as possible.
“On energy prices, the support package small business owners were promised must be delivered swiftly. Of equal importance will be a plan for what happens after the initial six months of support, which takes a realistic view on the inherently vulnerable position that smaller firms find themselves in when dealing with energy suppliers.
“The new Prime Minister and his government must work with their counterparts in the Scottish Government to explore every possible avenue in pursuit of solutions to the cost of doing business crisis.
“Small business entrepreneurs are resilient and innovative, but the current headwinds they are facing are gale-force. For small firms to drive economic recovery and future prosperity, they need a pro-small business environment in which to survive and grow.”