On Wednesday 22 November, the UK needs a Budget that will enable the country to grow its way out of austerity, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said in its submission to the Chancellor. Amid “generation-defining” challenges, the CBI feels this Budget should send signals that the UK is open for business and committed to supporting entrepreneurs and ambitious firms to thrive in all parts of the UK. The CBI believes that the Government’s Budget is an ideal opportunity to back the basics of a strong market economy and show how good Government in partnership with responsible business can improve lives regardless of any Brexit talk outcomes.
In its pre-Budget letter to the Chancellor, the CBI sets out a series of measures aimed at bringing the UK’s new Industrial Strategy to life through concrete action as a positive means of reinforcing the UK’s economy against future challenges.
Carolyn Fairbairn (pictured), the CBI’s director-general, urges the Government to “get on with doing what it has promised” (ie ‘green-lighting’ large and small infrastructure projects, implementing the groundbreaking T-Levels programme and providing support for innovators).
Against a backdrop of subdued investment, business leaders need a stable, pro-enterprise environment. Top priorities are improving education, fuelling inward investment in energy and infrastructure, spurring innovation and promoting competitiveness through the tax system. New measures should build on what has been started.
“Brexit planning must not be allowed to crowd out vital action at home,” stated Fairbairn. “With this Budget, the Government needs to set its sights firmly on the horizon rather than the next few yards ahead. The only sure way to raise living standards and provide sustainable public services is to solve the UK’s productivity problem. This means tackling the weak foundations of our economy with both consistency and determination.”