14 Oct 2022

Corporation tax U-turn compounds ‘relentless cycle of uncertainty’, says East Midlands Chamber

Commenting on Prime Minister Liz Truss’ reversal of a commitment to cancel the corporation tax rise, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Uncertainty is one of the biggest blockers to businesses in terms of enabling them to get on with what they do best – which is creating growth, job opportunities and wealth in their local areas and the national economy.

“Yet we seem to be stuck in a relentless cycle of uncertainty right now. A summer of political upheaval and paralysis, followed by Parliamentary recesses over the summer and early autumn, have left a void in decision making that is having a hugely detrimental impact on businesses.

“Confidence over turnover and profitability prospects has dropped by 21% and 17% respectively among East Midlands firms, according to our latest Quarterly Economic Survey, as they feel the squeeze from rising costs and falling customer demand.

“There were some positive measures announced in the mini-budget that would put money back into the pockets of businesses when they desperately need them, while some that have gone under the radar indicated a commitment to streamline planning processes, develop infrastructure and incentivise meaningful business investment – all things that companies are crying out for.

“If we are to truly get the economy moving again, as the Government says it wants to do, it needs to stop the log-jam of policy ideas and turn them into a fully costed programme of legislation to give businesses the confidence to invest – we need actions, not words.

“At the same time, Westminster must get serious about the root causes of many of the issues holding businesses back from realising their potential, including labour shortages and red tape in international trade.

“Once we get through this latest stage of political instability, we hope to finally see some action on a solution to the energy market volatility stifling investment and recruitment intentions, supporting greater business investment in workforce training, adopting flexible working practices, expanding the use of apprenticeships, and a comprehensive reform of the Shortage Occupation List to allow sectors facing urgent demand for skills to get what they need.”