Suffolk Chamber statement on Bank of England interest rate rise
“Most data whether that be from the Bank of England itself, business bodies such as Suffolk Chamber and national think tanks suggest that economic activity will decline for the foreseeable future.
“The severity and length of that downturn will depend upon a number of key decisions. Monetary policy is probably the least useful in that its impacts take time to adjust behaviours and frequently result in unintended consequences. Hence, the most recent quarter percentage rise in interest rates seems almost tokenistic at best and likely to cause some additional hardships to those businesses which are especially highly geared at worst.
“The key to boosting business confidence and resilience and hence protecting local jobs lies in both liberalising fiscal policy – in effect reducing taxes.
“Suffolk Chamber is stepping up its pressure on Government and we have three demands:
- An immediate, significant reduction in fuel duty and VAT for the next 12 months
- A temporary increase in the mileage allowance from 45p to nearer 60p per mile, so that there is no disincentive for staff to use their own vehicles for work-related purposes
- A strategic commitment to delivering a pro-business programme for the reminder of this Parliament to include a lower business tax burden, further incentives for start-ups and scale-ups to speed up the delivery of their growth plans and tax incentives to invest in capital and training
“Suffolk’s hardworking and entrepreneurial business leaders can only do so much in times such as this. Government, using the fiscal tools at its disposal, needs to help with the rest.”