Business chiefs demand 'action, not words' from Government on the economy as confidence nosedives

The time has come for ‘actions, not words’ from politicians, says influential business body the East Midlands Chamber as a new study shows confidence is nosediving in the business community.
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This week, the chamber of commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire will publish the results of its Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), which is delivered in partnership with the University of Leicester School of Business and gauges the health of the region’s economy, for the third quarter of 2023.

Data will show a steep fall in optimism among the region’s business community for an improvement in turnover and profitability amid rising cost pressures for energy, people, raw materials and fuel.

MPs return to Parliament from tomorrow (Tuesday) after party conference season, which followed Parliamentary recesses over the summer and early autumn for the Conservative leadership election and period of mourning following Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber. Photo: Mark AverillChris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber. Photo: Mark Averill
Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber. Photo: Mark Averill
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Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber, said: “The on-off pauses in parliamentary activity – for reasons fully understood – over the past few months have led to a bottleneck in decision-making from the top of Government.

“At the same time, a cost-of-doing-business crisis has tightened its grip on firms, which are under huge pressure to get through a difficult winter and beyond.

"Businesses are telling us that alongside the increased costs they face, cashflow is worsening and demand for their products and services is now dampening for the first time since pandemic restrictions were removed.

“We have heard lots of rhetoric from our MPs during a summer characterised by internal politics but as we enter the final quarter of the year, the vacuum of policy decisions must be replaced with actions, not words.

“This will help businesses to get on with doing what they do best – creating jobs, wealth and opportunities, and helping the economy get out of the difficulties it’s currently in.

“If we are to truly get the economy moving again, as the Government says it wants to do, it needs to stop the log-jam of policy ideas and turn them into legislation to give businesses the confidence to invest.

“Further detail on the costings of recent proposals, along with anticipated growth returns and timescales for this, is now needed.”