BCC Reacts to Chancellor’s Speech at Conservative Party Conference

Date Posted: 2 Oct, 2023

Following the Chancellor’s announcement of an increase in the living wage, Jane Gratton, Deputy Director of Policy at the BCC, said:    

“It’s important that wages rise proportionately to maintain living standards and that people can cope with the cost-of-living crisis.       

“But business conditions remain among the hardest in generations and employers are struggling to contain wage inflation.       

“Firms have seen lasting damage caused by Covid lockdowns, a global supply chain crisis, new trade barriers with the EU, unprecedented energy costs, and significant skills shortages.    

“On top of this, rises in interest rates have compounded problems for those carrying more debt due to the pandemic.  There is a limit to how much new cost that firms can absorb.     

“The government needs to be cautious in setting future wage rate rises. We need to strike the right balance between boosting pay and ensuring the very survival of some firms is not put in jeopardy.”