Shevaun Haviland: Time running out for Government to act

Jun 30, 2022

Director General of the BCC, Shevaun Haviland, is to urge the Government to take action to save the economy as the cost of doing business crisis continues to worsen. 

She will speak out at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Global Annual Conference 2022 on Thursday June 30. In her keynote address, she will urge Government to take action following the ‘missed opportunity’ of the Spring Statement. 

She will also emphasise the need for cooperation over confrontation to avoid a summer of disruption which will only further deepen the UK’s economic woes.  

ON THE ECONOMY 

Shevaun is expected to say: “Increasing costs of raw materials over last summer, supply chain and shipping issues, problems in recruiting people, and by this March, spiralling energy prices. It really is the perfect storm for businesses, firmly putting the brakes on recovery. 

“This has to change; we are on limited time. The Government has until the autumn budget to reset, rethink and get their house in order. 

“First, they need to put in place support for businesses now to weather this storm. And, secondly, they need to work in partnership with us to develop a long-term economic strategy for growth. 

“Sustainable growth is the best way to bring money back into the Exchequers coffers, to pay for our NHS and our schools, and to build resilient communities.” 

ON A SUMMER OF DISCONTENT 

She is expected to say: “Last week we were all impacted by the train strikes and we understand that people are worried about paying their bills. 

“It’s a challenging time for everyone, and the solution will come from cooperation not confrontation, because the consequences of ongoing strikes will have a major impact on everyone; businesses will struggle, people will lose out and the economy will suffer.” 

ON LABOUR SHORTAGES 

She will say that a long-term plan to solve skills shortages is needed but immediate action is also called for: “We are already seeing a drag on growth due to the lack of people in our labour market. With four out of five firms telling us they’re finding it difficult to recruit, too many businesses are struggling to find the people they need to succeed and grow. In the short-term, Government can do more to help firms fill their gaps, including an urgent review of the Shortage Occupation List.” 

ON TRADE 

Emphasising the need to boost British exports and trade, Shevaun will say: “A long-term plan for growth must include growing British exports. Trade is a powerful force for good, and we are working hand in glove with the Government on further discussions with countries across the globe, including India, Canada, and the Gulf Corporation Council.  

“We must see UK-EU relations stabilise and improve. We need to reduce the red tape and cost burdens currently placed on British businesses to ensure smoother exporting through the TCA.”  

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