CBI Scotland responds to Scottish Government's lockdown exit route map

The four phases outlined provide Scottish businesses a sense of optimism for the future. CBI Scotland Director, Tracy Black, said:

"Businesses across Scotland will welcome the publication of a route map for economic restart that puts safety first. Unless people feel safe, employees won't return to work, customers will stay away and the restart will falter, putting people’s livelihoods at further risk."

21 May 2020

CBI responds to the UK Government's new Global Tariff regime

The new tariff scheme will provide businesses with much needed clarity on post-Brexit trade, said CBI Deputy Director General Josh Hardie. He added:

"Simplifying the system, scrapping tariffs under 2%, reducing duties on sustainable products are all things firms can work with. Sticking closely to many existing tariff levels will give other countries incentive to agree trade deals with the UK. However, businesses will need time to assess the detail and ensuring there’s a system in place to address issues as they arise will be critical."

19 May 2020

CBI Northern Ireland responds to extension of COVID-19 business rates relief

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, welcomed the extension saying:

"A one-month extension of the rates holiday for all businesses is very much welcome as companies try to keep costs down. The further extension to 12 months for some of the most impacted sectors by COVID-19 will also be very well received."

19 May 2020

CBI responds to rise in maximum loans available via CLBILS

Responding to maximum loans available via CLBILs rising from £50 million to £200 million, Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith said:

"Some mid-cap businesses urgently need access to larger loans to tide them over at this critical juncture for the economy. Many of them are important regional employers, so the Treasury’s extension of maximum loans to £200m shows just how much they are listening to the concerns of business right now."

19 May 2020

CBI responds to ONS labour market statistics

With the data revealing sharp falls in vacancies and hours worked, as well as a smaller decline in employment, Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

"Looking ahead, how the job retention scheme evolves in line with restarting the economy will have a big impact on jobs and earnings. Extending it until October was a bold decision, giving businesses and workers medium-term security. Now, greater flexibility is needed to help businesses slowly bring people back to work where it is safe to do so."

19 May 2020

CBI Wales responds to Welsh Government's 'Unlocking our Society and Economy' paper

Responding to the Welsh Government's 'Unlocking our Society and Economy' paper, CBI Wales Director Ian Price said:

"This latest announcement provides a helpful guide to the way Wales will exit lockdown and prepare for a ‘new normal’. The emphasis on health and safety is welcome, as is the promotion of a joined-up approach that includes business, schools, transport and other key aspects of life in Wales."

15 May 2020

CBI responds to the latest UK GDP figures

As the economy wanes due to coronavirus regulations, recent data suggests the full impact of lockdown is still yet to come. Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith said:

“Reopening our economy will be a gradual, complex process. The Government’s new guidance has helped, giving businesses some flexibility for their individual circumstances. Ultimately, keeping health at the heart of a recovery plan will be key to sustaining an economic revival.”

13 May 2020

CBI responds to Prime Minister's address on COVID-19 and economic restart

As Boris Johnson set out the conditional return to a social and economic 'normal', Carolyn Fairbairn responded, saying:

“Today marks the first glimmer of light for our faltering economy. A phased and careful return to work is the only way to protect jobs and pay for future public services. The Prime Minister has set out the first steps for how this can happen. Businesses are keen to open and get our economy back on its feet. But they also know putting health first is the only sustainable route to economic recovery."

10 May 2020

CBI responds to Bank of England Monetary Policy report and Interim Financial Stability report

On the reports, CBI Chief Economist, said:

“The latest scenario suggests the UK will experience a significant economic contraction, followed by recovery as social distancing measures are lifted. As thoughts move to restarting the economy safely and effectively, the focus must remain on quickly getting cash to those that need it most and ensuring we rebuild an innovative, sustainable economy. The bounce back loans, the CBILs and the Bank of England’s CCFF scheme are all important building blocks."

07 May 2020

CBI responds to latest CBILS finance figures

With vital funds going out to firms in need and unhindered by minimal administration, CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith said:

"This scheme has been a lifeline for many. For smaller firms, the 100% guaranteed loan should help give sole traders, micro firms and entrepreneurs a simple route to fast finance to help them stay afloat from next week."

30 Apr 2020

CBI responds to government support for ‘lifeline’ transport

Commenting on the news that vital routes for supplies and people have been protected through a coronavirus support package to keep the flow of goods and services running smoothly, CBI Director of Infrastructure, Tom Thackray said:

"The government’s decision to stand behind the main operators in the roll-on-roll-off ferry sector and Eurotunnel at this difficult time acknowledges the vital role these services play ensuring essential goods reach the UK and the island of Ireland. These routes are the lifeblood of local economies so this support is very welcome in communities throughout the UK."

24 Apr 2020

CBI responds to extension of Job Retention Scheme

The CBI has responded to the Chancellor's extension of the Jobs Retention Scheme beyond May.

“The Chancellor’s welcome extension of the Job Retention Scheme beyond the end of May will help protect the economy and prevent unnecessary job losses through this new lockdown phase. “This extension means that firms will no longer be forced to issue redundancy notices over the next few to days to comply with 45-day consultation requirements, and can instead return to focusing on protecting jobs and their businesses’."

17 Apr 2020

CBI responds to the latest economic analysis from OBR and IMF

The CBI has responded to the Office for Budget Responsibility coronavirus scenario that shows the possible effects on the economy of a 3-month shutdown. As well as the International Monetary Fund’s global economic forecast expecting a 3% contraction in global growth.

“This makes for bleak reading and stresses the need for the right policies to support our economy through this crisis. The need for coordinated global action to rebuild confidence has rarely been greater."

14 Apr 2020

On the PPE challenge

CBI Northern Ireland has urged businesses to join the ‘battle’ to produce protective equipment for the NHS and front-line workers. CBI NI Director, Angela McGowan said:

"Protecting NHS and social care staff on the frontline is vitally important. But it’s not just them; from people carrying out essential work in food manufacture or Post Offices and delivery drivers, key workers need protective gear and we are committed to helping secure it for them."

09 Apr 2020

On the new Labour leader

Sir Keir Starmer is the new leader of the opposition and the CBI warmly welcomes his appointment. Director General, Carolyn Fairbairn added:

"He has our full support to help develop policies that create and share prosperity across the UK. This is a time like no other for Labour and business to work in partnership to help our country survive the immense challenge of this pandemic, and move beyond it to revive our economy and tackle inequality."

04 Apr 2020

On additional government financial support for business

The Chancellor announced the government will help deliver cash faster to firms battling for survival in the headwinds of the pandemic. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn added:

“By providing more support for mid-tier companies, they are backing our most significant and iconic regional employers. These firms number in the thousands and make a huge contribution to the economy, so it’s good to see them getting the support they deserve."

02 Apr 2020

On the new self-employment support

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has welcomed the support provided for the self-employed and called for fast clarity on how and when money will reach bank accounts to help individuals to plan. She added:

"The self-employed make an immense contribution to our society and across many industries. They will play a critical role in the UK’s recovery once we overcome the worst of the virus."

26 Mar 2020

On social distancing measures

As the government steps up precautions to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, CBI Northern Ireland Director, Angela McGowan said:

"Businesses are trying to do the right thing. Many firms in critical sectors have implemented huge changes in the workforce to keep their employees safe, while simultaneously ensuring that essential products and services keep flowing."

25 Mar 2020

On government's key worker list

Reacting to the coronavirus outbreak, the UK government has outlined which jobs are essential to help businesses plan ahead. In response to this, Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell said:

"Defining which workers are critical to the national effort is a difficult task. Today’s list will help business and individuals to plan. But the need for different jobs will change in the weeks ahead, so the list must be kept under constant review with additions where necessary."

20 Mar 2020

CBI responds to the Spring Budget

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has welcomed measures announced in the Chancellor's first Budget, saying:

“Overall, today’s budget is a powerful signal to firms at home and abroad that the UK can and will manage the immediate challenges and long-term opportunities in parallel.”

11 Mar 2020

On the lowering of interest rates by the Bank of England

Measures to help the flow of credit and support businesses potentially facing cash flow issues could make a real difference in the weeks ahead, said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist. She added:

"All eyes are now on the Chancellor today to do his part. This is a timely, proportionate response to a serious situation, though it's vital policy is kept under review as things improve."

11 Mar 2020

CBI responds to the Prime Minister's announcement on sick pay

Clarity about employers’ responsibilities is important in this unprecedented situation. It is vital that sick pay rules don’t encourage people to ignore public health guidance, said CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie. He added:

"The CBI is providing insight to Government on other steps that businesses can take to make it as easy as possible to follow public health guidance, and what government can to do ensure businesses are always able to do the right thing."

04 Mar 2020

CBI responds to proposals to lift block on onshore wind competing in CfD auctions

CBI Head of Energy and Climate Change James Diggle has welcomed proposals to lift of the block on onshore wind competing in Change for Difference (CfD) auctions. He added:

“This is an important move that will not only make the UK’s journey to net-zero more achievable, but also more affordable for consumers by using the cheapest available technologies that can deliver real benefits to the wider economy.”

02 Mar 2020

CBI responds to UK-US trade negotiation objectives

The UK is beginning a brand-new chapter in its global future, and a good trade deal with the US is a vital part of that story, said CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn. She added:

“The US and UK already share the world’s largest bilateral investment relationship; now is the time to use it as a springboard for new jobs and investment here at home.”

01 Mar 2020

On the Government's negotiating mandate

Business recognises the sense of purpose and direction of the Government said CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn. She added:

“Firms understand that this is just the beginning of months of complex talks. The most challenging areas will require flexibility from both sides to find a breakthrough."

27 Feb 2020

On the Court of Appeal ruling on Heathrow expansion

All major projects must be consistent with net zero and it’s clear that the Government and aviation industry need to work closely to agree a robust decarbonisation plan. Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie added:

"This decision risks holding back the very investment in innovation needed to achieve that, and the ambitions of many businesses eager to benefit from greater international connectivity."

27 Feb 2020

CBI responds to IR35 review

After months of consultation on IR35, businesses will welcome the fact there is now finally some clarity on the situation said Director of Economic Policy, Annie Gascoyne. She added:

"The six month review will be an important marker to test whether the policy is having the desired effect. It’s important that the review includes a full and comprehensive impact assessment, properly assessing the admin burden for business and the impact on labour market flexibility."

27 Feb 2020

On the new UK immigration system

From 2021, any firm seeking to hire workers from overseas will need to use a new immigration system. Several aspects of the new system were welcomed by the CBI, as Director General, Carolyn Fairbairn added:

"Careful implementation across all UK nations and regions will be required. Above all, the government must work with employers and employees - especially smaller firms - to ensure they have the time to adapt to new policies and practices."

18 Feb 2020

On HS2

After a long campaigning effort from the CBI, the Prime Minister has given the green light to HS2, bringing jobs, new homes, skills and investment to businesses across the north and midlands. Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell added:

"The Prime Minister’s decision to back HS2 is exactly the sort of bold, decisive action required to inject confidence in the economy. It sends the right signal around the world that the UK is open for business."

11 Feb 2020

On the Parker Review

While some FTSE firms have made measurable progress when it comes to ethnic diversity in the boardroom, the bottom line is business has to significantly up its game, said CBI Chief UK Policy Officer Mathew Fell. He added:

“Businesses need the same focus on ethnicity diversity as on gender diversity. If they do, then meeting the 2021 target of at least one director from an ethnic minority background is still possible."

05 Feb 2020

On the UK's departure from the EU

Despite the challenges of the last three years, together we have made progress. No deal has been avoided and a year of status quo gives time to shape that new relationship, said CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn. She added:

"Now the real work begins. It’s time to focus on the future and build a new relationship with Europe. "This can reflect our shared values and mutual interest, and support bold global trade ambitions.”

31 Jan 2020

CBI Northern Ireland on the Migration Advisory Committee report

With free movement coming to an end, a new immigration system that is fair and sustainable from day one is as important for many firms as our future trading relationships, said CBI Northern Ireland Director. She added:

“Flexibility will be needed to build a system that lets wages rise where there are shortages while helping businesses to access the skills and labour required."

28 Jan 2020

On the 5G decision

This solution appears a sensible compromise that gives the UK access to cutting-edge technology, whilst building in appropriate checks and balances around security, said CBI Chief UK Policy Officer Matthew Fell. He added:

“5G is a technology that will transform lives, businesses and reinvigorate the UK’s digital infrastructure. It has the potential to add real economic value to all parts of country and end the digital divide which holds too many rural areas back.”

28 Jan 2020

On the Migratory Advisoriy Committee report

Reducing the headline salary threshold will be welcomed by businesses, which argued that a £30,000 cap would be damaging, said CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell. He added:

"Yet even with a commitment to world class business training, it remains unclear how firms can hire for mid-skilled roles such as LGV drivers, joiners and lab technicians who don’t meet the £25,600 test."

28 Jan 2020

On the new legal right to parental bereavement leave

CBI Director of People and Skills Matthew Percival welcomed new legal right to parental bereavement leave. He added:

"The loss of any child is unimaginably difficult. Giving time for families to grieve without the worry of what’s going on at work is fundamental.”

23 Jan 2020

On the second reading of the digtal infrastructure bill

CBI Director of Digital and Innovation Felicity Burch welcomed the rapid action government is taking to give leaseholders and tenants access to fast, reliable gigabit connectivity. She added:

“Firms are ready to work with Government to make even more progress including on planning reform to support 5G rollout and addressing connectivity in new build developments.”

22 Jan 2020

On the Stormont deal agreement

CBI Northern Ireland Director Angela McGowan has welcomed the agreement of the Stormont deal and made the call to reaffirm Northern Ireland’s reputation as a great place to do business. She added:

“CBI Northern Ireland will continue to work with policymakers and bring evidence to the table, so that together we can deliver ambitious solutions to the economic and environmental challenges that we face.”

10 Jan 2020

On plans to raise the National Living Wage

Business shares the government’s ambition for a higher wage, said CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell. He added:

“It’s vital that the Low Pay Commission has the full range of tools at its disposal to judge the evidence base, pace and affordability for any future rises to ensure the UK’s successful job creation story continues into the coming decade.”

31 Dec 2019

On the new Governor of the Bank of England

CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith has warmly congratulated Andrew Bailey on his appointment as the new Governor of the Bank of England:

“His strong experience, both in Threadneedle Street and at the Financial Conduct Authority, means he is particularly well placed to steer the British economy through the new course it will take after Brexit, and through challenging global economic times."

20 Dec 2019

On the Queen's Speech

CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie had responded to the Queen's Speech:

“The Prime Minister can have confidence that business is up for the challenges ahead. To make this Queen’s Speech a real Christmas present for the country, it’s time to bring together all the investment, skills and creativity of the public and private sector and get to work.”

19 Dec 2019

On the Brydon Review

CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell has welcomed the findings of the Brydon Review of the audit industry, which should help it continue to evolve to meet the growing expectations of the market. He added:

“The Brydon review was always going to be the guiding light to inform all other changes around the audit market. Its publication means that 2020 can be a year of positive action following a series of consultations.”

18 Dec 2019

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