CBI NI responds to latest review of Covid-19 restrictions

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said firms understand the importance of bringing infections down. She noted many companies may well need further support if they are to keep their heads above water.

“With the all-important festive trading period already upon us, businesses, particularly those in the hardest hit sectors such as hospitality, retail and tourism have been told continuously that they must endure short-term pain for long-term gain. But yet once again they face this start-stop lockdown approach which is playing havoc with jobs and livelihoods."

19 Nov 2020

CBI NI responds to UK Government plan for a green industrial revolution

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said the plan represents a clear statement of intent from the UK Government and business in Northern Ireland is fully committed to playing its part. She added:

"The CBI in Northern Ireland is delighted to have already started these conversations with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEARA) and we look forward to participating in their newly established Green Growth forum."

18 Nov 2020

Response to PM green industrial revolution plan

Josh Hardie, Acting CBI Director-General, said gives a springboard to the huge opportunities for UK-wide investment and green jobs that a true low-carbon economy can bring.

“From new wind farms and nuclear power stations, to hubs of low-carbon industry using carbon capture and hydrogen technologies, business investment will be key to making this vision a reality. Now Government and business must join forces to create clear pathways for sectors and communities to decarbonise, making the most of the diverse range of skills and expertise that exist in regions across the country."

18 Nov 2020

Reviving Regions: New approach to levelling-up can enable a sustainable post-Covid rebound

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said the twin threats of Covid-19 and a potential no-deal Brexit have created a devastating and unprecedented economic challenge.

“The Government must prioritise long-term investment in the critical structures, training, and innovation needed to support jobs and quality of life around the UK. This long-overdue levelling-up can lay the foundation for a better, greener and fairer economy for all.”

18 Nov 2020

CBI Scotland responds to latest review of COVID-19 restrictions

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said many companies will need a significant increase in support immediately if they are to keep their heads above water. She added:

“With access to a vaccine still months away, the best tool at our disposal to protect lives and livelihoods is access to widespread rapid testing. Ramping this up must be a key priority for the Scottish Government if we are to avoid a damaging cycle of further restrictions.”

17 Nov 2020

Our response to latest GDP figures

Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist, said it was clear that this time needed to be used wisely: this time should be used wisely: investing in mass testing, ensuring a seamless test and trace system and devising a long-term vision for the economy.

“Many businesses have adapted their operations already, as illustrated by this week’s record redundancy figures, but the second hit to sectors that have already suffered hard may be too much to bear. Additional government support – notably the extension of the Job Retention Scheme – is welcome."

12 Nov 2020

British firms continued to invest roughly £140 million across India despite the pandemic - CBI/EY India Sterling Access 2020 report

CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, said:

“As the fifth and sixth largest economies and the world’s leading democracies, UK-India trade deal is a natural fit, that has the potential to bolster our two-way trading relationship across many sectors including life sciences, IT and services.”

11 Nov 2020

CBI Wales responds to latest labour market statistics

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said the figures make for worrying reading for Welsh businesses.

“The next few months will be crucial. Making sure that the UK and Welsh governments work together effectively, in partnership with business, to support firms under pressure will be key. Rolling out mass testing remains a priority, as is investment in job-creating projects – with a focus on digital skills and green jobs.”

10 Nov 2020

CBI Scotland responds to latest labour market statistics

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, welcomed the fact that the latest figures from the ONS showed that unemployment in Scotland remained broadly stable on the previous quarter, and was below the UK average. She added that UK and Scottish governments must focus on getting ahead of the curve on the economy as well as the virus.

“Making sure that government, business and unions are able to work together effectively in the months ahead would be a vital step, as would rollout of mass testing and investment in job-creating projects, with a focus on digital skills and green jobs.”

10 Nov 2020

CBI comments on labour market statistics - November

Matthew Percival, CBI Director for People and Skills, said that recent extensions of JRS and increased support through Universal Credit are important steps that recognise the number of redundancies and difficulty people face in finding new jobs.

“The next couple of months will be crucial. The Government must use this time well to get ahead of the curve on the economy as well as the virus. The creation of an economic recovery commission uniting government, business and unions would be a vital step, as would rollout of mass testing and investment in job-creating projects, with a focus on digital skills and green jobs.”

10 Nov 2020

CBI response to Chancellor financial services speech

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said active dialogue between enterprise and government can ensure smarter regulation - meeting the highest standards - along with new reporting requirements underline the UK’s status as a place to invest. She added:

“Tackling climate change through the UK’s world-renowned financial services sector – while boosting competitiveness - matters hugely for our economy. Leading the way on sustainable finance initiatives, like green gilts, can drive progress towards net zero, helping fuel a sustainable recovery."

09 Nov 2020

Our response to Chancellor's economic statement

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said extending the Job Retention Scheme will give companies the stability they need to help safeguard thousands of jobs but sectors and supply chains under the greatest strain may need more tailored support. She added:

“The Covid crisis makes the next six months even more crucial for Government to pursue its levelling-up ambitions and work towards a net-zero economy. Investing in infrastructure, skills and innovation at the next Spending Round will lead to a swifter recovery and a brighter future for our country.”

05 Nov 2020

CBI responds to Bank of England monetary policy announcement

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said further loosening of monetary policy will give reassurance to the business community. He added:

“In the meantime, there are five clear steps that are needed to help the economy weather the winter storm. We need to keep covid-secure firms as open as possible, provide assurances that the government’s financial and employment support will last the course, put in place a transparent exit plan for lifting lockdown, roll out mass testing without delay, and involve business in decision-making.”

05 Nov 2020

Don't delay: Invest in skills, innovation and infrastructure now to rebuild our economy

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said the Spending Round is an opportunity to invest in a long-term vision for the economy, including levelling-up and net-zero.

“The next six months is a chance to invest in our future. Business will look to Government to deliver a platform of investment and opportunity which enables a swift recovery and a brighter future as Britain builds back better.”

05 Nov 2020

Our response to the Prime Minister's speech - CBI Annual Conference

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to backing British business and called for collaboration to protect jobs, livelihoods and communities across the country.

“The Prime Minister made it very clear he shares this view and that his door is always open to the CBI and business. In return, firms will do all they can to help our country recover. They will step up to support communities, create new jobs for young people and accelerate the UK’s path to net zero. This is a time for the partnership of a generation between business and government. Our door too is always open."

04 Nov 2020

CBI responds to keynote political speeches - Alok Sharma and Sir Keir Starmer

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, welcomed the commitment from Alok Sharma and Sir Keir Starmer to back firms through the crisis and set out a vision of a low carbon, high-skilled, high tech future powered by enterprise. She added:

“And more is needed to create, not just protect jobs. The launch of a National Commission for Economic Recovery can bring business, government, unions, and education together.”

02 Nov 2020

CBI Wales responds to end of 'firebreak' and new Covid-19 restrictions

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said firms under severe strain will be relieved. He noted the hospitality sector needs clear guidance on how businesses can re-open again as swiftly and easily as possible, adding:

“The First Minister has placed great emphasis on personal compliance and changing individual behaviours as we continue to live with the pandemic. Having already invested significant sums in making workplaces safe for staff and customers, business stands ready to play its part in making that a success.”

02 Nov 2020

Covid-19 provides pathway to future of carbon reduction, flexible working and local shopping

Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, said the rewards for those who get building back better right will be substantial, with clear benefits for both companies and individuals. He added:

"...while Covid-19 may have triggered a mass migration from UK workplaces, talk of the death of the office is premature. They continue to offer real benefits, particularly for welcoming new staff, training and collaboration. So a new, flexible balance must be found - the office will survive, but not as we know it.”

02 Nov 2020

CBI responds to latest public health restrictions

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said firms share the Prime Minister’s ambition to defeat the virus. She added that formal business involvement in lockdown planning is now needed, matched by coordination with devolved nations.

“Extending furlough is a vital step. It will bring instant relief and protect jobs. It’s also a breakthrough to hear government support for rapid mass testing. Affordable fast tests are a game-changer for business, enabling more firms to stay open and operate normally. We must use this lockdown month to prepare and roll-out mass testing as a matter of national urgency."

31 Oct 2020

Seizing the opportunity to level-up the NI planning system – CBI Northern Ireland

Commenting on the launch of the report, CBI NI Director Angela McGowan said one of the biggest stumbling blocks to delivering strategic infrastructure is Northern Ireland's complex and burdensome planning process. She added:

“However, with the statutory review of the Planning Act 2011 now underway, and the Ministerial Panel on Infrastructure delivering its findings in recent weeks, we have a golden opportunity to level-up the planning process."

28 Oct 2020

CBI Scotland responds to new ‘five-tiered’ lockdown system

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:

“At all levels, support must be made available from the moment any restrictions come into force, have a clear point of contact and be commensurate with their impact. Anything less and even more businesses crucial to our recovery will go to the wall, with further job losses inevitable."

23 Oct 2020

CBI responds to publication of new immigration rules

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said welcomed confirmation of the rules underpinning the UK’s new points-based immigration system.

“Government must use the remaining months of 2020 to help businesses to understand how they will need to engage with the new system, particularly those that have no experience of the current visa system.”

22 Oct 2020

CBI responds to latest government business support package

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said missing middle of pubs, cafes and theatres in tier 2 along with other businesses across the UK who are seeing demand fall away, will be relieved to be supported.

"This is a big step towards a more standardised approach of support for areas going into tiers 2 and 3 and those businesses that face tough times who operate within them. It will be critical to get the buy-in of all regions in England, rather than negotiation on a case-by-case basis."

22 Oct 2020

CBI responds as Greater Manchester ordered into Tier 3

Damian Waters, CBI North West Director, said clear communication and transparent evidence for new restrictions is essential.

"Firms in hard-hit sectors like hospitality, leisure and tourism – and their supply chains – have seen only a limited recovery from the earlier lockdown, and fresh obstacles could prove fatal for some. Additional financial support must therefore be made available as a matter of urgency to protect people’s livelihoods."

20 Oct 2020

CBI Wales responds to latest COVID-19 firebreak restrictions

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said transparency and clarity of messaging are key and businesses remain keen to better understand the strategy for living with COVID-19 through the autumn and winter, noting:

“While the Welsh Government should rightly be commended for consulting widely before announcing these new measures, the temporary lockdown remains a severe setback to businesses across Wales – particularly in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors which have suffered so significantly throughout the pandemic."

19 Oct 2020

A radical new strategy for lifetime reskilling must be the bedrock of UK economic recovery - CBI

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said ensuring people can adapt to the changing world of work would be one of the most important missions embarked on by the UK in the next decade.

“The right skills strategy can help every worker to progress their careers, drive up living standards and level-up the country. But a failure to act will leave businesses facing skills shortages and workers facing long-term unemployment. We are at a fork in the road that requires urgent and decisive action."

19 Oct 2020

CBI responds to Prime Minister's statement post-European Council

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

“With tenacity, common sense and compromise, a deal is still possible. Businesses call on leaders on both sides to stay at the table and find a route through.”

16 Oct 2020

CBI responds as London moves to Tier 2 of Covid restrictions

Eddie Curzon, CBI London Director, said that getting a grip on rising infection rates now would help 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, London businesses still remain under extreme pressure. It's vital that the Government, Mayor's Office and London's Councils continue to work effectively together and use whatever tools they have at their disposal to protect jobs and livelihoods."

15 Oct 2020

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



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