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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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The PM's speech lacked the detail required to restore business confidence


Wednesday 4 January 2023

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI),
said:

“Today the Prime Minister set out his Government’s priorities for the year ahead, in a speech that was lacking in the detail required to restore business confidence at a perilous time for the UK economy.

“Ambitions to halve inflation, boost innovation, bolster the workforce and grow the economy are admirable, but they will remain out of reach until businesses have the clarity they need to invest, grow and plan for the future. One of the key drivers of inflation is high energy costs and businesses have had to contend with a series of cliff edges and spiralling costs spread over several months. Each day that passes without clarity on how the Government will support businesses with energy costs beyond April this year ultimately harms their operations and constrains the economy’s long term recovery.

“LCCI is pleased that education and the commitment to ensuring every student studies maths to the age of 18 is at the forefront of the Government’s agenda. LCCI’s latest Skills Survey found that 42% of larger businesses identified data handling and analysis as the most common areas where skills gaps are evident, while the 2022 London Business 1000 survey showed that 1 in 10 London businesses have experienced skills gaps relating to numeracy and maths. We are therefore encouraged by the Prime Minister’s commitment to extending maths provision, and the impact this will have on plugging skills gaps in the capital in particular.

“On strikes, the government is right to call for reasonable dialogue with unions and we urge all parties to engage constructively to resolve this perennial issue once and for all. Strikes are a lose-lose situation and only succeed in jeopardising businesses small and large who keep our economy motoring across London and the UK. It is vital the Government reaches a workable solution that will see the desperate disruption that impacts almost every business in the UK brought to an end.

“If we are to succeed in building a better future for Britain, we need meaningful engagement between the Government and the business community to deliver favourable conditions for growth, macroeconomic stability and shared prosperity in the longer-term. Businesses are making every effort to overcome the challenges thrown their way – the Government will indeed be judged on the results of its own.”

ENDS