War with Iraq may damage business

Businesses are bracing themselves for the consequences of war in the Middle

A war with Iraq took a step closer following Tony Blair’s call for action
during his address to the TUC annual conference last week.

John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said a war could damage
businesses and jobs. "If oil prices go up because of a war it would
increase costs, and put firms under pressure.

"During the Gulf War, people stopped flying as they were worried about
terrorism. That would have an impact on business, especially long-haul
carriers," he said.

Philpott also thinks inflation and interest rates would increase as a result
of a conflict.

Last week, Rod Eddington, chief executive of British Airways, said that
action against Iraq would damage airlines.

The TUC Congress passed a motion opposing unilateral military action against
Iraq without the United Nation’s authority.

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