Business makes stability priority for new PM

Calls for an era of political stability and policies to boost growth were echoed by UK business leaders on Friday following the resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss.

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Ms Truss tendered her resignation on Thursday afternoon, little more than six weeks after she became PM.Her term in office had been hallmarked by political and global market turmoil after a series of unfunded tax cuts were proposed in a 'mini-budget'.
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'Recent politics undermined public confidence'

“The politics of recent weeks have undermined the confidence of people, businesses, markets and global investors in Britain," commented Tony Danker, Director-General of the UK's largest business organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). "That must now come to an end if we are to avoid yet more harm to households and firms."Stability is key. The next Prime Minister will need to act to restore confidence from day one. They will need to deliver a credible fiscal plan for the medium term as soon as possible, and a plan for the long-term growth of our economy.”The new Prime Minister is scheduled to take office next week in a speedy move that Marco Forgione, Director-General of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), would give "business certainty" to his organisation's 7,000-plus members.“The IOE&IT is calling for a resilient, stable and focused Government, which will support businesses and is desperately required at a time of a 40-year record high inflation and with imports and exports in a concerning state of decline," he said. "Certainty and coherence are essential if there is to be any chance of minimising the impact of a recession.” 

Making growth possible with stability

Kitty Ussher, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors (IoD), said that already-low confidence UK economy had been further eroded as a result of the nation's political instability."This reduces investment, thereby constraining growth," she warned. "Without stability and confidence, growth is impossible."Shevaun Haviland, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said that Ms Truss's resignation after "weeks of chaos and uncertainty" meant that the UK now faced a period of even greater uncertainty, just as it stood on the cusp of a recession.“It is now vital the Conservative Party speedily comes to a decision on a new leader who can return both political and economic stability.“The new administration must immediately set out how they plan to deal with soaring energy bills, labour shortages, spiralling inflation and interest rates," she said.

'No more shenanigans'

The BCC set out its three business priorities for the incoming PM: a review of the energy support package, which is due to end in April; finding a solution to labour shortages to enable firms to hire the skills they need; and a strategy to boost exports.Martin McTague, who chairs the Federation of Small Businesses, also demanded stability and a plan to secure growth from the new Government."Businesses are crying out for an end to the political turmoil and a focus on remedying the economy, supporting small firms through the hard winter ahead," he said.“Beyond that there must be a focus on securing prosperity for the longer term, making sure we have the right support for improving broadband, housebuilding, labour supply, and the tax and regulatory framework – so we can build our way out of the increasingly negative economic climate.”Paul Drechsler, CEO of BusinessLDN, a trade body representing companies in London, described the UK as being in an "unmitigated political and economic crisis", which required not only a new PM but also a "rock solid" cabinet to back up them.The recent turmoil, he added, had deeply damaged the nation's international credibility and said the last thing the country needed now was a general election, which all the opposition parties are calling for but which, Mr Drechsler argued, would only add to the paralysis in government for several more weeks."We don't need more Cirque du Soleil," he said. "We don't want any more circus, any more theatre, any more shenanigans. Just do your job."

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