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The latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Monthly Business Survey, reveals the extent to which company cash flow is being squeezed and the increasing number of employees in the private sector facing pay cuts or freezes.
The results from 400 companies across the UK show that a staggering 58% of businesses are planning wage freezes and half of firms are considering or certain to make redundancies in the next six months.
Half of the businesses questioned attributed most responsibility for the UK's current economic position to the banks, with the government seen as most responsible by 37% of respondents. The Financial Services Authority escaped with just 6% of the blame.
In a speech at the BCC's recent annual convention in Birmingham, the business group's Director General, David Frost, argued "it is the countryâ€™s private sector that has faced all the pain of this recession. The results of our most recent poll show just how hard times are, with half of firms considering making redundancies."
"The government must realise that the private sector cannot bear all of the pain. There was some support in the Budget, but more is needed to help Britain's embattled businesses so that they can drive our economy out of recession, creating jobs and wealth in the process."