CBI NI responds to new restrictions from the Executive

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said businesses will welcome further clarity on the evidence base for this package of measures.

“Right now our businesses are facing a myriad of unprecedented challenges: rebuilding from the first wave of COVID-19, dealing with the resurgence of the virus and managing the uncertainty over the EU/UK negotiations. While the announcement that there will be further financial support is welcome, it needs to be delivered without delay and targeted at acute areas of need."

14 Oct 2020

Trading our way to recovery: Stepping up globally to level up locally - CBI Director-General

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, called for the UK to be the world’s champion for trade in services and innovation. She said:

“We need to hardwire collaboration between business and government across our work on trade and investment. The past few months have shown just how much business and government can achieve together. Now we need to bring that same collaborative energy to realising the UK’s full trading potential."

12 Oct 2020

CBI comments on labour market statistics - Oct

Matthew Percival, CBI Director for People and Skills, said redundancies are clearly on the rise despite the number of vacancies picking up over the summer. He added:

“The Government’s flexibility and support packages have reduced job losses substantially over the summer and making support match tiered local lockdowns will protect jobs too. Successfully ramping up the testing regime will be a key component to securing an economic recovery down the road.”

13 Oct 2020

CBI responds to latest Job Support Scheme announcement

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, said the Chancellor’s more generous job support for those under strict restrictions should cushion the blow for the most affected and keep more people in work. She added:

“In addition to financial support, continual transparency around decision-making is crucial. A consistent and open strategy for living with COVID-19 through the autumn and winter will help protect lives and livelihoods.”

09 Oct 2020

Our response to latest GDP statistics

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said that while necessary, the combination of restrictions re-introduced in September and rising infections was weighing on already fragile business and consumer confidence.

“Getting growth onto a firmer footing will rely on bringing infections under control. Imminent new restrictions must go hand-in-hand with further business support, especially for those harder hit regions and sectors such as aviation, wider transport and hospitality."

09 Oct 2020

Pandemic has fast-forwarded need for Business Rates change

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said the pandemic has accelerated the need for changes, and that firms want to see a freeze in the rate before taking steps to lower the rate by 2023.

"Reducing the overall burden of business rates has the potential to realise wider economic benefits, increasing tax revenue elsewhere in the system. We are rebuilding our economy and that can only be achieved with a tax system that supports, not hinders business efforts."

07 Oct 2020

Our reaction to the Government's Global Travel Taskforce

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said effective airport testing has a vital role to play in jumpstarting international travel and trade, adding:

“As global trade picks up, Britain must be at the forefront. A successful testing system will help air passengers travel confidently and conveniently and underscore the UK’s status as a hub for international connectivity."

07 Oct 2020

CBI responds to Prime Minister's Conservative Party Conference Speech

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said firms will be heartened to hear the Prime Minister’s belief in the private sector to create jobs, find innovative solutions to the challenges facing our society. She added:

"Many firms are overwhelmed by the enormity of the COVID impact on their cashflow and confidence. Government can act today to show a clear and consistent rationale on restrictions; delivering targeted help as the virus’ impact evolves, and ramping up mass testing for the critical months ahead."

06 Oct 2020

CBI responds to the Chancellor's Conservative Party Conference speech

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said it is vital to protect the enablers of our economy under greatest stress, from aviation and manufacturing to hospitality and events.

“All restrictions must be based on clear, transparent evidence, rapid mass testing must be turbo charged alongside test and trace, and further support should be considered for those sectors worst hit by lockdown measures.”

05 Oct 2020

CBI responds to PM announcement of review to boost transport connections

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said boosting transport connectivity in all parts of the UK is essential to delivering improvements in productivity and supporting regional growth.

"The announcement of Sir Peter Hendy’s review to assess investments needed to level-up connectivity is a welcome step that can deliver a clear strategy for delivering rapid improvements in access and journey times, all in line with the UK’s net zero commitments.”

03 Oct 2020

A golden opportunity to deliver a nationwide infrastructure revolution for commuters

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said commuter behaviours have undergone a sea-change this year, and would likely never revert to past patterns or previous numbers. He added:

“This is our chance to move away from short-term, centralised, and siloed decision-making. Government policy and funding should support local authorities to develop multi-year programmes of investments that will drive local jobs, growth and quality of life, consistent with net zero and levelling-up objectives."

02 Oct 2020

British businesses to launch new campaign aimed at increasing racial and ethnic participation in senior leadership

Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, CBI President, said:

“The time has come for a concerted campaign on racial and ethnic participation in business leadership. Progress has been painfully slow. We want to do for racial and ethnic diversity what the 30% Club has done so successfully for gender equality”.

01 Oct 2020

CBI responds to Prime Minister's plans to transform skills and training

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, highlighted that the measures proposed by the Prime Minister will help solve the most urgent skills challenge facing our generation, with retraining already a vital priority for the UK. She added:

“The lifetime skills guarantee and flexible loans to support bitesize learning are a strong start. But to really shift gears, this must be backed up by meaningful progress on evolving the Apprenticeship Levy into a flexible skills levy.”

29 Sep 2020

CBI Wales responds to announcement of further Welsh Government support for hospitality and tourism

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said:

“We have called on both the UK and Welsh governments to work together and use every tool at their disposal to protect lives and livelihoods. These successive interventions do just that, although it's clear more may be needed further down the line.”

28 Sep 2020

More than three-quarters of business want UK/EU agreement

Commenting on the fact that more than three-quarters of businesses want a deal to support people’s jobs and livelihoods, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

“A good deal will provide the strongest possible foundation as countries build back from the pandemic. It would keep UK firms competitive by minimising red tape and extra costs, freeing much needed time and resource to overcome the difficult times ahead.”

27 Sep 2020

CBI Wales responds to new localised restrictions in Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said the business knows that taking action now can help to maintain confidence and avoid further restrictions in the months ahead. He added:

“While the Chancellor has taken bold and decisive action to support jobs and companies’ cashflow across the UK, Welsh firms remain under extreme pressure. That’s why we need the UK and Welsh governments to work together and use whatever tools at their disposal to protect lives and livelihoods in the coming weeks and months.”

25 Sep 2020

Our response to the Chancellor's Winter Economic Plan

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said wage support, tax deferrals and help for the self-employed will reduce the scarring effect of unnecessary job losses as the UK tackles the virus. She added that further business rates relief should remain on the table.

“The Chancellor has listened to evidence from business and unions, acting decisively. It is this spirit of agility and collaboration that will help make 2021 a year of growth and renewal.”

24 Sep 2020

Innovative public-private partnerships key to bolstering recovery

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, highlighted that firms of all sizes have stepped up as part of the national effort in the fight against COVID-19. He noted:

“During this period we have seen agile, innovative approaches to public-private partnerships deliver enormous benefit. As we seek to build back better from the pandemic, this must become the new normal."

23 Sep 2020

CBI responds to Labour Leader conference speech

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, noted the Labour Leader was right to prioritise investment in education and skills.

“The past six months have shown what is possible with brilliant collaboration between the public and private sectors, and firms will be looking for Labour to set out how it will work with business on these shared challenges in the months ahead.”

22 Sep 2020

CBI responds to Shadow Chancellor speech

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, noted Labour clearly recognise the unrelenting pressure firms are facing. She added:

“All parties agree that saving good jobs today is far better than picking up the pieces tomorrow. That needs bold action as the UK heads into a challenging autumn.”

21 Sep 2020

CBI comments on latest Covid restrictions in North West, Midlands and Yorkshire

Matthew Fell, CBI UK Chief Policy Director, said taking action now can help to maintain confidence and avoid further restrictions on businesses and households in the months ahead. He added:

“With the number of new local restrictions on the rise, the Government will need to take an urgent look at the business support packages for the autumn, including a successor to the furlough scheme.”

18 Sep 2020

CBI Scotland responds to latest Scottish GDP figures

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, stressed that getting a Brexit deal and building a successor to the hugely successful Job Retention Scheme are key to securing recovery in the near-term.

“If we are serious about doing everything in our power to protect firms, jobs and living standards, we need the UK and Scottish governments working together with real agility to further protect both lives and livelihoods. The coming weeks and months will be critical to our success.”

16 Sep 2020

CBI responds to latest labour market statistics

Matthew Percival, CBI Director of People and Skills, said while the easing of lockdown restrictions and a more flexible Job Retention Scheme in July led to the beginning of a recovery in vacancies and hours worked, warning signs of what is to come remain.

“Looking ahead, a successor to the Job Retention Scheme is needed to protect jobs and businesses.”

15 Sep 2020

Fast and bold climate action can be catalyst for global recovery - Director-General

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, noted that while it may feel like a time of fiercely competing goals - the biggest health crisis in living memory and climate change - they are not separate.

“The response to one affects success on the other. And the defining question is, how does the UK use this moment to rebuild our economy and the greener and stronger world we want to return to.”

14 Sep 2020

Technology creation 'must reflect our diverse society if its to serve us all'

CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, highlighted the importance of diversity in the technology sector if it is to serve the whole of society.

"As the first BAME President of the CBI, the first Zoroastrian Parsi in the House of Lords, and as a young man of Indian background co-Founding Cobra beer in the 1980s London, I am passionate about sharing my experiences and supporting ethnic diversity through my role as CBI President."

11 Sep 2020

CBI comments on new direct business grants

Annie Gascoyne, CBI Director of Economic Policy, noted new direct cash grants would help small businesses in areas under new restrictions to protect public health.

“But the impact of COVID-19 is still hurting businesses, so the Government will need to look at more targeted support in the autumn. That needs to include a successor to the furlough scheme and allowing businesses to defer VAT payments from July to September."

09 Sep 2020

CBI responds to the UK Government's National Data Strategy

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Digital and Innovation, highlighted data underpins the modern economy and is essential to businesses in every sector.

“We welcome the National Data Strategy as a vital step for the UK be at the forefront of the data revolution. Lessons learnt in the coronavirus crisis must power our economic recovery – crucially, unleashing the power of data in a way that commands trust and empowers people."

09 Sep 2020

Private sector can help deliver UK's infrastructure revolution

Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director at the CBI, said:

"The government must commit to an approach that gives confidence to investors and capitalises on the attributes of businesses and public sector establishing itself once again as a world class destination for investment.”

07 Sep 2020

CBI Scotland responds to the Programme for Government

Responding to the First Minister's Programme for Government announcement, Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said that business shares many of the broad priorities identified.

“Ultimately, Scotland’s economic recovery depends on the Scottish and UK governments pulling in the same direction and working with business to focus on jobs, skills and opportunities for young people. There isn’t a moment to lose."

01 Sep 2020

Private sector activity declines at a slower pace

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said activity remains well below “normal” levels, and noted recent CBI surveys have revealed heavy job cuts across the economy.

“Clearly, we aren’t out of the woods yet. The next few months mark a crunch point for businesses, with cash flow issues biting, the risk of a second wave and uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations. A bold plan is needed for all of these issues, in order to establish a sustainable economic recovery.”

30 Aug 2020

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