The boss of one of the UK’s largest chambers of commerce has accused the government of failing to help British businesses fight spiraling inflation.
This came after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an emergency package of £ 15 billion to support households through the cost of living crisis.
This included doubling the £ 200 discount that families were due to receive as early as October, without having to pay them now.
He also announced that more than eight million low-income families will receive a lump sum of £ 650, as well as a lump sum of £ 300 for pensioners and £ 150 for people with disabilities.
And although Mr Sunak did not use the word “windfall profits”, he announced a “collection of energy gains” to raise around £ 5 billion a year.
The interim tax will hit oil and gas companies by 25 percent “Extraordinary” profits that have increased due to the invasion of Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic.
But there was nothing in the announcement of support for British companies, which are also struggling to pay their electricity bills.
East Midlands Executive Director Scott Knowles said: “The sheer scale of the cost of living crisis facing the British public means the government is quite right to provide additional support to those most affected.
“However, companies will be very disappointed that there was nothing in the Chancellor’s statement to help them in the short and medium term, given that we are in the hands of very real costs of running a business crisis that shows no signs of slowing with continued inflation. to rise.
“Rising costs in energy, raw materials and people are having a huge impact on company profits, and our latest quarterly economic survey shows that two-thirds of East Midlands firms are expected to be forced to raise their own prices in the first quarter of this year. year
“Unless measures are taken to reduce business costs, these problems are likely to lead to inflationary pressures on the economy and quickly eat away at the financial support announced today.
“Reducing VAT to 5 percent on electricity bills and postponing increases in national insurance contributions until April next year will directly ease some of the pressure to raise prices, giving them the space they need to boost productivity and strengthen the economy.”