Dame Carolyn Fairbairn DBE, CBI Director-General, said:
“The Chancellor has put his money on a modern, connected, low carbon economy, which is exactly what business wanted to hear.
“But it feels like there was a page missing from his speech. It was silent on how the Government and the Treasury would respond to the serious rupture caused by failing to secure a deal with the EU - and the implications for the investments he announced today.”
On the National Living Wage, Carolyn said:
“Business shares the Chancellor’s ambition to end low pay. Increasing productivity is the only way to sustainable pay rises. The success of the independent Low Pay Commission has been its evidence-based approach to increasing wages without damaging job prospects. The Commission will work best if it retains the ability to judge the pace and affordability of any future wage rises.”
On full-fibre broadband roll-out, Carolyn said:
“Many of us take fast, reliable internet connections for granted but there are large swathes of the country where this simply isn’t the case. Poor connectivity stifles enterprise and ingrains regional inequalities.
“Access to full-fibre broadband should not be determined by postcode. The Government has set out an ambitious target for a 2025 roll-out and this new funding will help accelerate connectivity in the hardest-to-reach parts of the country.”
On infrastructure investment plans, Carolyn said:
“Too many parts of the UK road network are blighted by logjams making life unnecessarily difficult for people and businesses. The UK has under-invested for too long, so business will welcome these much-needed upgrades.”
On a Brexit red tape challenge, Carolyn said:
“This isn’t a priority for businesses at a time where stability is paramount. Where poor regulation suffocates enterprise, businesses do want to see changes.
“But the key issue for businesses – large and small – right now is not scrapping regulations, but getting a Brexit deal that sees off the economic turmoil of a no deal scenario.”