“What is so frustrating about this news is that, once again, the Bank of England’s projections on inflation have had to be revised upwards and those for growth downwards. Had they taken the evidenced concerns of Suffolk Chamber and its members – and that of others – seriously they would have appreciated the depth of the coming storm over 18 months ago – and reacted in a more proactive and possibly less damaging way in terms of interest rate rises.
“As it is, businesses are now facing the implications of the sixth interest rate rise in as many months, which will hurt them almost immediately, but which won’t achieve their desired macro impact for another 18 months. Given the recent reductions in business activity as recorded in our quarterly economic surveys – cash flow down, turnover down, profitability down – we are now very worried about the impact on future business growth indicators, including investment and recruitment plans.
“Suffolk Chamber is reduplicating our longstanding call for an immediate pro-business programme of fiscal reforms, comprising temporary reductions in VAT and duty on fuel, a cap on energy price rises for smaller firms and a reversal of the recent ill-timed increase in NI Employer contributions. Suffolk businesses are resilient and imaginative, but they are not miracle workers and need Government to lighten the load as they cope with the next couple of years’ projected turbulence.”