‘Whatever it takes!’ Chancellor urged to help businesses deal with cost of living crisis

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Business leaders are calling for the Chancellor to help firms cope with the cost of living crisis as penny-pinching Brits continue to be hit as prices soar. The fresh calls come as the Chancellor prepares for a grilling from Parliament’s Treasury committee later today.

Mr Sunak is expected to face MPs at 1.45pm.

The committee, chaired by Central Devon MP Mel Stride, includes 11 MPs.

Commenting ahead of the session, Mr Stride said: “It is very welcome to see such a bold package introduced by the Chancellor to support households with the rising cost of living.

“Overall, this looks like an impressive and generally well-targeted intervention.

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“However, there are inevitably questions that arise, not least around the impact that the Chancellor’s intervention might have on inflation.”

Businesses in particular have ramped up the pressure on the Treasury to provide further assistance to British businesses.

MailOnline has claimed upcoming data from Make UK, which represents Britain’s manufacturing industry, will show that more than two thirds of companies claim rising energy costs are causing ‘catastrophic’ or ‘major’ disruption to their business.

Verity Davidge, director of policy at Make UK, said: “Companies are facing eye-watering increases in costs which are becoming a matter of survival.”

Ms Davidge also added Ministers must do “whatever it takes” to support businesses and protect jobs.

Martin McTague, who was appointed as National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses in March, also called on the Chancellor to step up.

Mr McTague said: “The cost-of-living crisis starts with a cost-of-doing-business crisis. We need targeted interventions from the Government to reduce the need for firms to pass on surging input prices.”

He suggested struggling businesses should get a discount on business rates payments and said cutting VAT would be helpful.

However, Mr McTague also addressed previous concerns over the Chancellor’s tax raising agenda.

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He said: “We really need to see the Chancellor take action to ease the tax burden.”

Calls to lower the tax burden were also issued following Mr Sunak’s cost of living support measures in May.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This cost of living bailout is little more than the Government taking with one hand and giving with the other.

“Taxes are the single biggest bill families face and these huge handouts will see politicians hoovering up the incomes of struggling taxpayers, creating a cost of Government crisis.

“If the Chancellor wants to boost growth and help households, he can deliver both right now by bringing forward the planned income tax cut and slashing costly levies on energy bills.”

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