Input price growth hits record-high 18% as small firms call for action on cost of doing business crisis

Press Releases 18 May 2022

FSB responds to latest inflation figures

Responding to new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which show producer input price inflation at a record-high 18.6%, and the consumer prices index at 9%, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Martin McTague said:

“The gulf between the rate of input and consumer price growth underscores the efforts of businesses to absorb costs rather than pass them on.  

“Small firms in particular find it hard to pass higher operating costs onto customers, fearing that doing so will hamper competitiveness.

“More and more are being left with no choice, however, as inflationary pressure collides with an increasingly tight labour market, making it harder and harder to find the right people, and pushing up the wages needed to keep them.    

“We hear a lot from politicians about the cost of living crisis, but very little about the cost of doing business crisis which underlies it.

“The Government must now look at targeted interventions that will do most for local economies hardest hit by the pandemic which are now faced with low growth and surging inflation.  

“It can’t control the wholesale price of oil and gas, but it can go further to help small firms with property costs – increasing the ceiling for small business rates relief and extending the energy support issued via the council tax system to the rates system.

“With employment costs, including national insurance, now way up on where they were this time last year, installing a sick pay rebate for the smallest businesses would give them a measure of breathing space.

“Our debilitating poor payment culture worsened over the pandemic. Here we have an area where government can take action – by making audit committees directly responsible for supply chain practice – without it costing a penny.  

“More widely, with so many firms lost over lockdowns, we need policymakers to come forward with the Enterprise Strategy that we were promised a long time back – clearly outlining how, now we’ve lost the New Enterprise Allowance, government intends to spur those thinking about starting up to turn vision into reality, thereby shoring up our already foundering recovery.”  

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Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson

Deputy Head of Media & Communications

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About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.