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FDF CEO Karen Betts, the CBA’s director of Operations Karen Dear and Scottish Bakers CEO Alasdair Smith have expressed disappointment for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s essentially support-poor plans to help the sector tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Lack of clarity

Baker under pressure FG Trade

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Welcomed, of course, are plans to further support businesses through freezing business rates for an additional year. However, said Dear, “the CBA is disappointed by the lack of clarity regarding further support for businesses in terms of the energy crisis and an extension to the energy cap.

“Many of our members will still be facing a significant rise in energy bills in the coming year and have been left with justified concerns following the lack of additional support provided by the government at this moment.

“We will be continuing to liaise with the BIES (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to ensure our members’ concerns and needs are heard and accounted for with the hopes that long-term support can be provided to ensure their businesses can continue to operate.”

Scottish Bakers added its members would have like to have seen more focused support, especially around the high energy prices.

“Crucially, so far as we are aware, there is nothing in the pipeline for support beyond the end of March,” ​said Smith.

Would have liked more measures

Betts said the FDF recognises the barrage of difficult issues the Chancellor had to deal with in the Autumn Statement, but added, “While there was positive news on tariff suspensions – something we have long called for – food and drink manufacturers would have liked to have seen more measures to help our industry deal with the powerful inflationary pressures we are facing.