Businesses need more support to grow, experts warn

Businesses need more support from the Government if they are to survive the latest round of economic uncertainty, and grow, business groups have warned.

As the economy remains sluggish, businesses need all the help they can get, including a further reduction in red-tape and regulation. One in one out – a policy introduced by the coalition Government this year, is intended to reduce regulation, but a further change of approach is required, EEF, the manufacturer’s organisation has claimed.

Commenting, EEF Director of Policy, Steve Radley, said: “Government has set out the right ambitions to reduce the burden of regulation and its approach has the potential to deliver it. But industry is now looking to see the new approach deliver real change. With major new measures such as the new national pension savings scheme in the pipeline for next year, the government needs to set out plans for where it can reduce the burden on employers.”

This is a sentiment mirrored by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which has today written to the chancellor with a five point plan designed to boost growth. The BCC remains supportive of the Government’s efforts to reduce the deficit, but believes there is room to stimulate business growth and contribute to a recovery.

Points laid out include, immediate and real action to existing ledges to reduce regulation, the extension of the quantitative easing programme, reducing employer NIC by 1p, and the abolition of the 50p tax rate, among others.
Commenting on the proposals, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The UK’s economic recovery is more anaemic than most expected at the start of the year. We expect weak growth of 1.1% in 2011, and the economy faces major hurdles ahead, with concerns around the Eurozone, and US debt ceiling. The future of the recovery relies upon stimulating growth across businesses. Only a strong and prosperous private sector will allow us to provide the public services we all want and need. The government needs to be prepared to introduce a package of measures that will strengthen business confidence, allowing them to grow, invest, export, and create jobs.

“We do not believe that there is a need for a Plan B. The deficit reduction programme is vital to stabilising public finances, and so boosting business confidence. However, we urge the government to look to a Plan A+, which would see more growth-enhancing policies introduced in the Autumn Statement. It must also consider the potential of more radical measures within the spending envelope, should the situation worsen. The coalition has yet to display enough urgency on tackling those issues facing businesses. While the government has identified many of the right policies, they must be delivered as a matter of priority.”