17 March 2020
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“The Chancellor has taken substantial steps in unprecedented times. Today’s massive increase in Government-backed loans, higher cash grants and widened business rates relief for some sectors will help firms protect jobs and businesses. All now need to be delivered on the ground with speed and simplicity.
“The Chancellor is right to commit to doing whatever it takes.
“The new financial package provides valuable support to areas facing immediate stress, including hospitality and retail. As next steps, it will be vital to stay ahead of the economic impact, not waiting until firms are on the brink. Wider whole-economy measures like regulatory and tax relief in areas including VAT and National insurance will support a broader range of firms in real need.
“Urgent decisions are also needed on wages. An immediate mechanism is needed to top up wages for firms with no choice but to reduce hours for lower paid staff, so they can keep them employed and get through to the other side.
“It is clear this situation will not stand still, so nor can the economic support. The pace of change is too fast to play catch up.”