The CBI, the UK’s premier business lobbying organisation, providing a voice for employers at a national and international level, has challenged the Chancellor to promote business investment in his Autumn Statement scheduled for 5th December.
The CBI is calling for direct action on business rates together with investment in energy and housing to stimulate economic growth and help ease the increasing cost of living. The CBI is also is also advocating that the Government adheres to its strategy for deficit reduction, cautioning that it is not even half way to completion, with many years required before the job is complete.
The UK’s leading business organisation recommends various measures including a complete revamp of the multifarious and archaic business rates system which it believes represents an investment obstacle. The CBI is urging the Government to pledge a full reform in the long term, and as a short term solution to establish a threshold of 2% on the annual business rates increase, along with the introduction of an incentive to encourage businesses to take up space in vacant property on high streets thereby boosting local economies.
Commenting on the call to action, CBI Director-General John Cridland said:
“Business investment is absolutely vital if we are to continue growing the economy.
“We must not forget the job on deficit reduction is only half done and needs finishing. This needs to go hand in hand with business investment to create jobs, raise living standards and drive the recovery.
“At the heart of our realistic package of measures for the Chancellor is an overhaul of the business rates system, which will boost the high street, manufacturers and factories. We want to ensure windows are opened up, not boarded up.”
Also included in its Autumn Statement submission, the CBI is urging the Chancellor to make changes in several key areas such as energy and housing and infrastructure. It is also keen to see finance for SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses), a sector which has created the overwhelming majority of jobs over the last five years. With lending conditions still proving a challenge to SMEs, the CBI is calling on the Government to:
- Ignite a securitisation market for SME loans
- Maintain the support for developing markets for forms of finance alternatives such as private placement, equity finance, the retail bond market and crowd-funding
In terms of job creation and skills, workers are required to be appropriately skilled to take their place in the workplace and this is where employers can take the lead. Experience proves that local-based, employer-led government schemes are the most effective at tackling youth unemployment. The CBI advises that the Government need to take additional action to address and relieve youth unemployment with a central government-led, locally managed scheme which is sympathetic to local economies and business requirements.
The CBI speaks for some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce. With offices across the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.
Andrew Issott, Head of Marketing, Business Environment said: “Although the worst of the recession appears to be over it is crucial for growth that businesses invest and develop their skillsets to maximise business expansion in the upswing.”