By Claire West

Commenting on the public finance figures for July, released today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“While these figures show an improvement compared to a year ago, they also highlight the UK’s massive deficit and the major challenge in restoring stability to the public finances.

“British businesses understand that painful measures will be needed over the next few years to reduce the country’s unsustainable deficit, and they support the Government’s focus on spending cuts rather than tax rises. But, the task of reducing the deficit will only be successful if the austerity measures are supplemented by a positive programme aimed at ensuring businesses can grow, invest and create jobs.

“Where possible, spending must focus on areas that enhance the UK’s productive potential. Interest rates will have to stay low, and new employment regulations must be avoided.”