23 September 2014

  |  CBI Press Team

News

CBI comments on Ed Miliband's speech

The CBI today commented on the speech by the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, to the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

Commenting on the six goals outlined, Mr Cridland said:

On apprenticeships
"Apprenticeships will help plug our growing skills gap and for many young people these are the stepping stones into a great career.  Apprenticeships must be rigorous and relevant for the world of work, as well as simple for businesses to deliver.  Employers want to offer as many apprenticeships as possible so we can't see the point of insisting firms take on an apprentice for every skilled non-EU job. It's needless bureaucracy.

On improving living standards
"Boosting growth for all across the regions is a priority. Extending the retention of business rates strengthens the link between business and the local area and gives a strong incentive to local authorities to attract and nurture enterprise. But we want to see Labour go further and commit to more fundamental reform of a rates system, which is clunky, outdated and burdensome.

"Labour is right to get behind a robust industrial strategy to create jobs. The UK must raise its game on innovation investment to compete with other leading economies.

On housing
"For many young people and families the dream of owning a home is out of reach and Labour's ambition to build more, create new garden cities and support first time buyers is laudable.
"But delivering an ambitious house building programme won't be achieved by penalising house builders by making them 'use it or lose it.' Instead we need to focus on getting more viable land released for development and let house builders get on with it.

On boosting the green economy
"Tackling climate change and investing in a low carbon future requires strong leadership and long-term vision. Labour's ambition to create more hi-tech jobs and seize the green growth opportunity is one business would support.  However, the UK energy supply industry needs huge investment and a solid framework and Labour's call to freeze energy prices risks jeopardising this.

On tackling low pay
"We support strong enforcement of the minimum wage.
"However, we cannot countenance political interference with the independent Low Pay Commission which carefully sets the rate at the highest level possible without undermining job creation.

"The best way to boost wages is to raise skills levels and help people progress into higher paid, higher skilled work. Businesses recognise they have more to do here.

On delivering modern public services
"With the demands on our public services intensifying in response to changes in our society and tough spending decisions ahead, business as usual isn’t an option.
"To meet the needs of an ageing population we need to put more emphasis on preventative care, so joining up the health and care services around individual need makes sense