By Maximilian Clarke
The Coalition Government’s deficit reduction programme is crucial in stabilising financial markets and assuring a stable economy, though more must be done to boost private sector growth, John Cridland, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said today in response to Chancellor George Osborne’s speech Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
“George Osborne is right to highlight the importance of deficit reduction and the risks of unsettling money markets by any shift from Plan A. But in the coming weeks, the Chancellor must unveil further plans for boosting growth,” said Cridland.
“The biggest opportunity is in leveraging more capital investment in infrastructure, including in power generation, road and rail links, housing and super-fast broadband. We need more detail on delivering these investments by the Autumn statement.
“The Chancellor has some important proposals to help job creation. Small firms are sometimes put off taking on an extra employee because of the fear of ending up in front of an employment tribunal. Doubling the period for unfair dismissal rights and introducing a tribunal fee to prevent vexatious claims will give firms more confidence to hire.
“Small firms need credit and, with the continuing Eurozone crisis, banks can only do so much, so the proposal for credit easing to get money directly into the hands of smaller businesses could be just what the economy needs, if it can be made to work. But these are uncharted waters and these proposals need to be fully worked up as quickly as possible.
“For businesses, one of the challenges to growth is rising energy costs, so manufacturers will be encouraged by the Chancellor’s commitment that cutting emissions will be no faster than our European competitors.”
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