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“It is vital that the new cabinet quickly redoubles its efforts to support the business community build up its resilience to weather the approaching economic storms. In particular, Suffolk Chamber’s members are worried about the risks of stagflation caused by both out-of-control inflation and a flatlining in economic activity. It is vital - and within the Government’s control - to assist businesses and consumers in avoiding a recession.

“The latest figures from Suffolk Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey continues to evidence the slow and steady decline in business activity and sentiment that we have witnessed over the last 18 months or so. At one level it is a testimony to the resilience and fortitude of the county’s business communities that most of the measures recorded in our these surveys remain in positive territory – just.

“That said, the declines in expected profitability and turnover and the weaknesses in orders and sales, especially in export markets, and the cash flow position of many, plus the pressure being applied to investment budgets, does show that a pro-business programme of temporary tax reductions could provide the breathing space businesses need to ride out the challenges of the next year.

“In particular, we are encouraging Suffolk’s MPs to help us persuade the Government to row back on recent business tax hikes, including that on NI employer contributions, reduce fuel duties and VAT on fuel, avoid the proposed online sales tax ensnaring the many smaller businesses who have recently expanded their digital operations and to deliver on its promise to hold a full review of the outdated and perverse business rates system.

“We are also keen that the Government continues with and in fact accelerates its pro-business reforms not least those aimed at placing chambers of commerce at the centre of local skills development and the wider devolution agenda to give Suffolk more influence in building up our county’s economy for the benefit of both local residents and the wider economy.

“Crucially, it is time that Suffolk was finally given its fair share of investment in key infrastructure, especially along our east:west corridor. This means improving the quality of the A14 from Felixstowe to the Cambridgeshire border, sorting out comparatively inexpensive but enormously beneficial rail projects such as Haughley Junction and prioritising the rollout of 5G technology along this vital trade route.”

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Suffolk Chamber

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