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The King’s Speech : a missed opportunity to assist business

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce described the King’s Speech as a missed opportunity to assist business during challenging times.

With companies battling inflation, interest rates and a tight labour market, the Chamber had hoped for a more pro-business address from King Charles.

Mark Casci, head of policy and representation at the Chamber, said:

“Given the cancellation of HS2 and the mixed reaction to the Network North proposal, there was some hope that the Government would use King Charles’s address to kickstart the stalled Levelling Up agenda.

“Instead, there was nothing for Yorkshire or the North and little to cheer businesses during these challenging times.

“Proposals to modernise the energy infrastructure of Britain are of course welcome, as is the Offshore Petroleum Licence Bill – the latter of which will recognise the need to keep the nation powered as we transition to net-zero. However, there is still little information on how we will transition to renewable energy, an area that Yorkshire has the potential to be a world leader.

“Our members will now look with hope to the Autumn Statement for detail on how Yorkshire and the North’s economy can be powered up to help foster growth for the whole country.”

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy and Insight at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The King’s Speech opened with an aspiration to increase economic growth – but it failed to outline how that will happen. The businesses we represent need help in dealing with inflation, interest rates and a challenging labour market.

“The Government could, and should have gone further, to help companies in challenging times. We hope the Autumn Statement later in the month will provide more certainty for businesses.

“It is disappointing that the King’s Speech didn’t include further planning reform in England. We continue to call for a faster and more efficient system that enables business to grow.

“Latest data from the BCC’s Insight Unit shows investment flatlining. Our Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3, showed only 23% of respondents were increasing investment whilst concern over the impact of high interest rates is growing, reaching 45%.

“We welcome positive signs that the Government is listening to our calls for a modernised energy grid system. Building on the recent Energy Act, we’ll be looking closely at the detail to see if connections will be improved for businesses.

 “The Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill rightly recognises we will need to continue using the UK’s oil and gas reserves during the transition to a net-zero future. However, we need to hear much more about the Government’s proposals for renewables. Reopening the political dividing lines on Net-Zero damages business confidence and investment plans.

“We are encouraged by mention of increasing high quality apprenticeships. The skills crisis is one of the main issues impacting business.

“Boosting exports is a key ingredient for economic growth and we welcome The Trade Bill. But the government must do more to shift the dial on global trade.”

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