CBI responds to George Osborne’s speech to Conservative Party Conference
The CBI today responded to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:
“The Chancellor was right to remind Britain that there is no real alternative to deficit reduction. This is why business has supported his deficit plans for the last two and a half years, and still does. But this has to go hand in hand with dynamic action for growth.
“Towards the end of his speech George Osborne outlined a very important list of growth priorities, including more aviation capacity, investment in renewable energy and shale gas, and a new approach to exploiting Britain's science through industrial policy. Businesses will want to see swift action in all these areas.
“The bulk of the deficit reduction must come through reduced Government spending, including tackling benefits, but the focus has to be on helping people back into work. None of us wants to make the lives of the less well-off even more difficult.
“To achieve this, we need to deliver better public services at lower cost and, in my view, the Government needs to be bolder in bringing in charities and companies with innovative ways of serving the public.”
On employee ownership plans, he said:
“In some of Britain's cutting-edge entrepreneurial companies, the option of share ownership may be attractive to workers, rather than some of their employment rights. But I think this is a niche idea and not relevant to all businesses.
On proposals for R&D investment, he said:
"Some of this country's most innovative new products are developed through university-business collaborations, so this extra Government funding for R&D collaboration could make a real difference. Being at the cutting edge of R&D can help boost exports, attract investment to the UK and drive growth."
On proposals to incentivise shale gas exploration, he said:
“It makes sense to maximise the amount of energy we can produce at home at reasonable cost. Incentivising the exploration of shale gas sits alongside investment in renewables. I don't want all my eggs in one energy basket.”
Notes to Editors:
The CBI is the UK's leading business organisation, speaking 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.