Industry calls for stability as Liz Truss steps down as Prime Minister

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Pm Liz Truss in the House of Commons with former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng
Pm Liz Truss in the House of Commons with former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng

Related tags Supply chain

Liz Truss has stepped down as Prime Minister after a turbulent few days and concerns about her leadership in the wake of the U-turn over the mini budget.

In an announcement today she said she cannot deliver the mandate she was elected to implement of a low tax high growth economy.  

Representatives from the food and drink sector have called for stability in the wake of the resignation. 

Truss stepped down after holding “crisis talks” with the chairman of the 1922 backbench committee. A new Prime Minister will be elected within the week. Truss said she had spoken to King Charles III to tender her resignation. 

The news came after the Paul Holmes become the 17th MP to call for Liz Truss to resign. She replaced her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng with Jeremy Hunt who reversed the majority of the plans in the mini budget, including a freeze on alcohol duty rises. 

Tax hikes

The Food & Drink Federation chief executive Karen Betts said:  “Food and drink manufacturers across the country are facing the toughest trading conditions anyone can remember, as they grapple with keeping food affordable for households amid soaring inflation. A new Prime Minister must bring stability, not least in economic and energy policy, so businesses can make sensible plans in hugely difficult circumstances and play their part in managing inflation. 

"A new government must also focus on regulatory reform, where there remains a good deal of scope to streamline red tape and stop avoidable costs being imposed on businesses and shoppers when they can least afford it.”

Rod Addy, Provision Trade Federation director general, said: “The resignation of Liz Truss as prime minister will do little to bring about an end to the political and economic turmoil the UK continues to face as part of wider global issues.

"More than ever, the grocery industry craves an end to instability so businesses can plan and invest more effectively. This is more of the same and whoever becomes prime minister will still have to grapple with Conservative party infighting alongside the cost-of-living crisis. However strongly held beliefs may be, the Government must shift away from party politics and unite to fight for the needs of the country if it is to avoid suffering more damage.”

The British Beer and Pub Association united with other trade associations the Scotch Whiskey Association and Wine and Spirits Trade Association to call on the Chancellor to cancel the double-digit tax hike. 

In a joint response to the announcement of Liz Truss stepping down the organisations said that they welcomed the previously announced duty freeze which supported hundreds of thousands jobs and gave the industries "stability and confidence."

"That stability has now been shaken, and confidence lost, due to the u-turn announced on Monday," ​they said.

Increasing costs

"The reversal of the duty freeze will mean a double-digit tax rise for beer, wine and spirits - industries which together contribute £13bn to the Exchequer through duty alone. For hard pressed consumers, this will mean a significant increase in the price of their favourite drinks at a time when our pubs, restaurants and shop are all struggling to manage increasing costs and keeping their doors from shutting for good this winter. It is vital that a drink with family and friends, in pubs and hospitality venues serving their communities in every part of the UK, does not become and unaffordable luxury."

They added: "We call on you to support, not penalise our industries - protect the jobs we create, back the investment in attract, and cancel the double-digit tax hike."

Last month, food bosses welcomed news that new Prime Minister Liz Truss had announced moves to cap business energy bills​ for six months.  

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