The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is calling for an immediate emergency budget by the Government to combat the rising costs faced by businesses and workers.

With firms in mind, the BCC has developed a three-point plan to alleviate costs and help the economy. These points are:

  • Ease upfront costs of doing business by reversing the NICs increase until at least 2023/24
  • Help businesses deal with increasing energy costs by cutting VAT on their bills from 20% to 5% for a minimum of one year
  • Bring back free COVID-19 tests for companies to help combat high staff absences.

In the proposal, the BCC states if a small business currently has an energy bill of £10,000 and pays a standard 20% rate, their payment totals £2,000 of VAT alone. With the proposed cut, this would lower the bill to a more manageable £500.

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the BCC, said:

"These are simple, straightforward measures that can be quickly reversed when the economy is in better shape.

"The Treasury and HMRC have proven their ability during the pandemic to implement similar changes quickly and efficiently. Making these changes would have an immediate benefit for both businesses and the public."

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