HAMMOND IN HIDING AS ECONOMIC GROWTH FIGURES SLASHED IN THE WAKE OF BREXIT VOTE

BCC FINDINGS SHOULD ACT AS A “WAKE-UP CALL” FOR UK GOVT

The SNP’s Treasury spokesperson has called the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) findings a “damning wake-up call” for the UK government as the BCC downgraded the UK’s economic growth forecast following the EU referendum.

In their first forecast following the EU referendum, the BCC cut its growth predictions for the UK. In its findings, they also downgraded GDP growth forecasts to 1.8% for 2016 and 1.0% for 2017.

The conclusions reported that export growth is expected to decrease from 4.8% in 2015 to 2.3% this year, as well as business investment which is predicted to fall by 2.2% in 2016 and by 3.4% in 2017.

The findings also pointed to employment growth which is predicted to slow in 2017 as the mist surrounding the UK post-Brexit increases uncertainty on recruitment.

 

Stewart Hosie, SNP Treasury spokesperson, commented:

“The downgrade in GDP growth, business uncertainty and reluctance to invest and the slowing of employment growth are all deeply worrying conclusions from the British Chambers of Commerce, all of this wrapped up in the uncertainty over what “Brexit means Brexit” actually means. And these findings are a damning wake-up call for the government.

“These findings bring home the magnitude of a government utterly unprepared of a Brexit vote. More importantly however, these findings are the clearest indication so far that the UK government must immediately embark on a sustained and substantial programme of fiscal action to provide confidence in the markets, boost exports and supporting inclusive economic growth.

“Since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the central bank have quite rightly engaged in monetary policy activism. The Chancellor and the Treasury team meanwhile have been in hiding. The Chancellor must step up to the plate and stop sub-contracting economic management to the central bank.”

 

Local MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes added:

“I’ve previously warned that local businesses based in West Dunbartonshire, especially those dependent on EU exports and imports, could be set to suffer as a result of the Brexit vote, and unfortunately my predictions are now being backed up by the British Chambers of Commerce.

“The UK Government need to get a grip, stop their petty internal squabbling and get on with the job of planning for leaving the EU. It gives me great comfort to know that the Scottish Government, with the backing of the Scottish Parliament as a whole, are representing our case well in European circles.

“I believe the Scottish Government’s efforts will have a real positive effect and set us up well for the long term, but right now, in the short term, it is critical that the UK Government to do their jobs and try to make the best out of this disastrous situation.”