By Claire West

Commenting on the public finance figures for August, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“These figures have deteriorated when compared with a year ago, despite expectations that we would see an improvement. This reinforces the need for the Government to persevere with a credible strategy aimed at restoring stability to our public finances.

“British business accepts the need for difficult measures over the next few years to reduce the unsustainable deficit, and supports the Government’s focus on spending cuts rather than tax rises. However, this policy will only achieve success if austerity measures are supplemented by support for businesses to enable them to deliver growth, investment and create jobs.

“Efforts must be made to enhance productivity and rebuild infrastructure, while interest rates will have to stay low for an extended period. New employment regulations must be avoided and where possible, existing ones should be scrapped.”