What does business want from the Autumn Statement?
The Autumn Statement will be another defining moment for our Nation. An opportunity for Theresa May’s Government to put their money where there mouth is, literally. So what should we expect from the Chancellor Philip Hammond this Wednesday . What should the voice of business be telling him?
It seems clear that the Government will look to mitigate the potential downsides of Brexit with a cushion to protect the poorer in our society. The “JAMs” – just about managing families have become a new target. If nothing else, at least it gives us a change from the overused “hard working families” rhetoric, although I assume it is the same group.
These JAMs will be in low paid jobs, either single parents or with both partners working, and a number of children of school age. They are the people for whom life is more about just existing than living, for whom hope is not a common friend. Helping these families is therefore a very noble aim, but I wonder if Government will do better by applying more focus to the businesses that employ (or could employ) these families?
Business needs confidence. It needs certainty. The only businesses that thrive on uncertainty tend to be arms manufacturers and hedge fund managers. Providing more certainty on the pathway ahead leads to better confidence. Better confidence brings investment and decisions. And all that adds up to jobs, income and an upward spiral. But of course confidence is a fickle thing – just look at the way the stock markets tend to over-react to events, and any “bold” statements (which are good for politics) tend to have unexpected repercussions further downstream.
Perhaps prior to the Autumn Statement, business need to say “steady as she goes Chancellor. Don’t rock the boat. Set a course and keep it”
Disagree? Have more to say? Let’s hear your views!