2022 Mini Budget - the business reaction

23 Sep 2022

Business groups have reacted to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's Mini Budget speech.

Responding to the speech, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) stated that the Mini Budget represents a 'turning point for our economy'.

Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI, said: 'Like COVID, the energy crisis has meant the government has had to spend massively to protect people and businesses. That means we have no choice but to go for growth to afford it. We must now use this opportunity to make it count and bring growth to every corner of the UK. Fifteen years of anaemic growth cannot be repeated.'

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) declared that the 'Truss government is off to a flying start'. Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB, said: 'The Chancellor has delivered pro-small business measures... and has rightly recognised that removing taxes on jobs, investment and entrepreneurs is essential for our economy.

'Ministers need to be relentless in removing barriers to small business success – especially with the current headwinds.'

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) welcomed the Chancellor's plans to boost economic growth. Shevaun Havilland, Director General of the BCC, said: 'Businesses across the UK will enthusiastically welcome the Chancellor's pledge to focus on economic growth and speed up new infrastructure development.

'The introduction of Investment Zones also has the potential to finally deliver on the government's long-standing promise to level up if the scheme is truly UK-wide. Lessons also need to be learned from the past, it will be crucial to get these zones right from the start, otherwise they can simply displace growth and investment from one area to another without creating new economic activity.'

However, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) labelled the Mini Budget as being 'Robin Hood in reverse'. Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, commented: 'We should be rewarding work, not wealth. But at the first opportunity, Liz Truss is holding down wages and lining the pockets of big corporations and city bankers.

'The Chancellor should boost the minimum wage, universal credit and pensions before winter sets in. He should fund pay rises in the public sector that keep up with prices.'