CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY (CBI) president Lord Karan Bilimoria said the government must act on the cost-of-living crisis and help firms invest in uncertain times.
In view of a negative growth in March and forecasts of a weak outlook for the rest of 2022, the government should extend the Recovery Loan Scheme to help businesses access finance in difficult times, the British-Indian businessman said.
Addressing senior industry leaders and politicians at The Brewery in Central London, he urged the government to act ahead of the autumn budget to shore up ebbing confidence and investment.
According to the Cobra Beer founder, the UK’s lead in the “growth markets of the future”, like emerging green technologies, should be strengthened by confirming preferred business models for hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage.
At the Lloyds Banking Group-sponsored event, he reminded the government that energy prices have gone up four times in a year and the costs of materials and shipping have gone up by 20 per cent.
“There is a genuine and real cost of living crisis squeezing firms, communities and people across the UK. I am worried that having the highest tax burden in 70 years at this time will stifle our recovery and growth. Businesses are doing their level best to ease the pressure wherever they can for their employees and consumers, but firms are faced with collapse unless they cut costs and put-up prices.
“We need to work together to increase confidence and keep investment flowing. We cannot wait until autumn to turn the page on low growth, we need to make our plays now.”