Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) said:
“The Spring Statement falls short of the action businesses needed to see today. While there are some positive announcements that firms will welcome, it did not fundamentally address the huge cost pressures they are facing.
“For example, while cuts to fuel duty are welcome, in reality, the reduction is small when compared to the larger tsunami of surging costs that is bearing down on firms and households.
“The Statement lacked the kind of decisive action which businesses, who are already struggling with a rapidly escalating ‘cost of doing business’ crisis, needed to see. Smaller firms are particularly exposed as they have neither the protections, or financial support provided to households, nor the negotiating power of larger businesses.
“As the economic outlook is likely to get worse before it gets better, many firms will be forced to continue raising prices, further fuelling the cost-of-living crisis. Businesses are braced to face some gruelling weeks and months ahead. More is needed to support them and protect jobs through the domestic and global economic shocks to come.”