Business must be at ‘centre’ of recovery

The new government must make business central to its economic plans, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has argued.

The BCC has published a 90-day plan for business growth, aimed at placing the economy on a sound and sustainable footing.

Failure to introduce the measures could mean a slower or even a non-existent recovery, the BCC claimed.

The recovery measures include a credible plan for reducing the budget deficit, freezing the public sector wage bill and reforming public pensions, and helping viable firms gain access to finance.

To boost job creation, the BCC wants the planned rise employer NICs to be dropped, a pledge from the new administration not to introduce any new employment laws before 2014, and a systematic review of the existing regulations that affect employers.

It is important also, the BCC continued, to avoid deep cuts to infrastructure projects that support business growth.

The economy should be geared towards improving exports, with the UKTI based on the principle of national strategy and local delivery, and the introduction of a short-term scheme to address market failures in export credit insurance.

David Frost, the BCC’s director general, said: “We will be judging the performance of the next government against its delivery of a clear plan for business. Putting business growth at the very core of a new administration’s thinking is fundamental to returning our economy to health quickly, and for the long-term.

“Sorting out the dismal state of our public finances must be at the very top of the agenda. The phoney war between the parties must end, and the parties must be crystal clear about where spending cuts will fall.

“During the first 90 days after an election, an incoming government must make concrete proposals to reduce red tape and tax burdens on business; review how to move the economy away from an over-reliance on consumption and the public sector; and commit to improving Britain’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure.”

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