Responding to the details of the Government’s legislative plan set out in today’s Queen’s Speech, Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said:
“Today’s Queen’s Speech had some welcome measures for business, but unless the Government takes immediate action on the economy, they will come too late to help many firms.
“An emergency budget is needed to provide firms with the breathing space they need to raise productivity and strengthen the economy.
“The costs crises facing firms and people in the street are two sides of the same coin. If we can ease the pressure on businesses then they can keep a lid on the price rises being driven by surging energy bills, staff shortages and higher taxes.
“Only after an emergency budget will some of the legislation set out in the Queen’s Speech have a chance to drive our economy forward.
“Businesses will then be able to focus on supporting the missions set out in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, as well as reaping the benefits from the infrastructure programmes outlined today.
“However, to really speed up delivery of infrastructure projects, much wider reform of the planning system is needed to speed up the process and reduce complexity.
“The Higher Education Bill gives a welcome commitment to create a flexible lifelong loan entitlement that allows adults to upskill and reskill for the changing workplace. Funding for modular learning is crucial to help people gain technical skills and ensure employers can access a skilled workforce.
“The Brexit Freedoms Bill has the potential to unlock innovation and expansion in a range of new and developing technologies, especially the expanding world of Net Zero products and services.
“We will want to look closely at how any changes will help business domestically but also their impact on our trade links and exports with the EU.
“What we don’t want to see is deregulation for its own sake. We should not complicate our trading relationship by diverging so far it makes UK goods and services unsellable into Europe.