By Claire West

Commenting on the Universal Credit: Welfare that Works White Paper, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Business will support moves to make work pay — because UK plc cannot function efficiently and effectively with millions of people permanently outside the labour market.

“Yet there are challenges too that must be addressed. If private sector companies are to create the jobs needed to employ local people, the Government must make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to take on staff — by stripping away burdensome employment regulation, and by ensuring that everyone has the basic skills needed to hold down a job. Businesses will take it from there, and train up the specialist workforce they need to deliver growth.

“Ministers need to remember that welfare reform cannot be delivered in isolation from other policy changes. If we are to make 2011 a year for growth, concerted action is also needed to strip away regulation, fix the planning system, and ensure businesses have access to the finance needed to underpin growth.”