M&S boss outlines issues facing trade with Northern Ireland
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Director General of the Confederation of British Industry Tony Danker demanded Chancellor Rishi Sunak to intervene as soon as possible in support of people hardest hit by the current energy crisis after claiming that “it is unacceptable” that millions of people in the UK are forced to skip meals in order to navigate in the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. “Everyone takes cautionary measures to slow down spending”, he said but added “[skipping meals] is just a level of hardship” that “I don’t think we can accept”.
Mr Danker said: “I think the hardest situation here are those people who are hardest hit by the cost of living right now.
“Managing this kind of inflationary situation is incredibly hard.
“We heard the Governor of the Bank of England about about it, you need to slow down the economy in one respect and you also need to make sure it doesn’t slow down permanently.
“It’s like clutch control, it’s learning to drive and getting that balance right in clutch control.
“But one think I don’t think we can accept is people skipping meals.
“We know in downturns, in tough economic times, everybody turn off the lights and everybody takes cautionary measures to slow down their spending.
“But what we are calling on today is to say ‘look, those people and some estimates say it’s as many as one or two million people who have started skipping meals’.
“That’s just a level of hardship, that’s unacceptable.
“And so we’re saying to the Chancellor ‘step in now to support those people’, we’re not calling for mass tax cuts across the economy, we’re not calling for an emergency budget right now.
“We’re saying ‘look, do something to help the hardest hit’.
“And at same time, what we can do now to make sure that if we do have a slowdown, if we have a cost-of-living crunch for everyone, it’s slow and shallow.
“So we can keep business confidence up so that people will start to invest in that as we get into the year.”
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He concluded: “It’s hard, but I think people facing hardship and skipping meals, that’s unacceptable”.
The claims follow the Bank of England warning that inflation peak is expected to reach 10.25 percent in the last quarter of 2022.
Speaking to MPs on Monday, Governor of the BoE Andrew Bailey said: “The main driver of inflation and what brings it down is the very big, real income shock which is coming from outside forces and, particularly, energy prices and global goods prices.
“That will have an impact on domestic demand and it will dampen activity, and I’m afraid it looks like it will increase unemployment”.
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