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East Midlands Chamber News

It’s time to move from rhetoric to action if businesses are to invest, says East Midlands Chamber after Boris Johnson speech

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday (Wednesday 6 October), East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “It was interesting to hear how the Prime Minister plans to take our country forward post-Covid and I’m sure there won’t be many people who disagree with the ambition to create a high-wage, high-skilled and high-productivity economy.

“However, this won’t happen overnight and it’s time for the slogans we’ve heard over recent months to be translated into meaningful action that supports businesses in the here and now, as well as giving them longer-term certainty to help steer the growth that will ensure we emerge with strength from the pandemic.

“The economic recovery is going well but remains delicate. Businesses need a stable and predictable policy landscape to enable them to invest in the types of technology and training needed to secure our global future.

“Asking firms to take a punt on what the country will look like based on words alone is not going to cut it, while introducing extra upfront costs at a time when they are already facing rising prices alongside other challenges, such as supply chain gridlocks, labour shortages and cashflow squeezes, is not the recipe for an environment that encourages investment in businesses, people and places.

“The conference season is now over. The autumn months will include important announcements within the Autumn Budget and spending review at the end of October, along with the publication of the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan and the promised Levelling Up White Paper. It’s now time to move from rhetoric to action and business eagerly awaits finding out what that means for this Government.”