[Re: Inflation reaches 7 per cent as Brits fear cost of living crisis, April 13]
The fact that inflation has reached a thirty-year high is a reminder of the huge disparity between the needs of businesses facing financial difficulties and the lack of support from the Government in addressing these challenges.
Britain has not seen such hostile trading conditions for decades.
The impact of inflation is particularly hard felt by small and medium-sized firms, who lack the financial legroom to absorb the cost of soaring prices.
For these businesses, of whom many are on the brink of closure, last month’s Spring Statement represented an opportunity for the Government to inject the green shoots of recovery and renewal. Instead, the measures that the Chancellor did mention – such as the Help to Grow scheme – are a token gesture for a community that is widely considered the lifeblood of the UK’s economy.
If “building back better” is to become a slogan with genuine substance, Westminster must find new ways of tackling the real cash flow problems that businesses face – like slow payments and difficulty accessing finance. This means moving away from vouchers and incentives, and instead supporting companies to harness technology as a driver of economic growth.
Failure to do this risks thousands of business closures, taking with them jobs and investment which are needed more than ever.