The West Midlands industrial strategy

Responding to the local strategy launched by Minister for Business and Industry Andrew Stephenson and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Richard Butler, CBI West Midlands Director, said:

“As the first local industrial strategy to be launched, we hope the West Midlands Industrial Strategy will start a domino effect of robust strategies being rolled out across the country. It shows the real value of political leaders working with one another to unlock economic growth."

16 May 2019

The latest UK GDP figures

On the news that the UK economy grew by 0.5% between January and March, Alpesh Paleja, CBI Principal Economist, commented:

“While it might seem encouraging to see economic growth pick up at the start of the year, this was at least in part due to stockpiling ahead of the recent Brexit deadlines, which is likely to fade away. Business surveys were already painting a more subdued picture of growth over the first quarter."

10 May 2019

On business rates

In a speech to business leaders in central London, CBI President John Allan urged both the Conservatives and Labour party to come good on manifesto promises to undertake a comprehensive and independent review of the business rates system. He said:

“The business rates system has – over time – become uneconomical, unsustainable, and frankly, unintelligible. In short, it’s a system in need of reform.”

08 May 2019

The North of Tyne mayoral election

As English devolution continues, Jamie Driscoll has been elected as the first North of Tyne Mayor. Sarah Glendinning, CBI North East Director, said:

"Business has three priorities for the incoming Mayor: improving skills, upgrading creaking infrastructure and delivering a successful Local Industrial Strategy. The CBI will work with the Mayor to represent the region as a whole, providing a strong voice here, in Westminster and overseas.”

03 May 2019

On the climate change report

The independent Committee on Climate Change has proposed that the government commits to a net-zero reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050. CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith says:

“Recent protests have shown the sense of urgency that the UK should do all it can to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. What we need now is a supportive and timely response from the UK government to enact this ambitious target, so businesses and the public can get on with reaching it."

02 May 2019

Social Mobility Commission report

In response to the State of the Nation report showing social mobility has stagnated, CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell said:

“Companies succeed when they embrace life-long learning and work with schools and colleges to give young people the best start in life. That’s why the government must end the financial neglect of England’s further education system and consider this recommendation as part of its Spending Review."

30 Apr 2019

On the business tax contribution

New CBI analysis of data published by the Office for National Statistics has found that businesses paid £196bn in taxes in 2018/19, up from £188bn last year – accounting for 27% of all tax revenue. CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith says:

“Our analysis shines a timely light on the importance of business to the funding of our schools, hospitals and many other public services. The efforts of successful enterprises, paying a fair share in tax, cannot be taken for granted by politicians at a time of such economic uncertainty."

24 Apr 2019

Competition and Markets Authority report

John Allan, CBI President, has responded to the CMA's audit recommendations by saying that improving the quality of audit to enhance public trust and investor confidence must be paramount. He went on to state:

"Other ideas, such as greater scrutiny of audit committees by the regulator have merit and could help guard against high-profile corporate failures, which have rightly prompted searching questions."

18 Apr 2019

On the proposed freight ban

Tom Thackray, CBI Energy and Infrastructure Director, has responded to a report by the National Infrastructure Commission suggesting new petrol and diesel lorries should be banned by 2040:

"Business has long acknowledged that decarbonisation is a vital ingredient to making the UK economy competitive. However, banning particular technologies, without taking the positive steps needed to support the transition to a low-carbon future will be counterproductive."

17 Apr 2019

Latest labour market statistics

Matthew Percival, CBI Head of Employment, welcomed continued positive trends in the employment and unemployment figures for December 2018 to February 2019, but added:

“The UK labour market continues to outperform the rest of the economy. Although securing a Brexit extension means we have averted an economic crisis, politicians must now come together and avoid a no deal scenario or risk impacting the UK’s stellar labour market.”

16 Apr 2019

The new Institutes of Technology

The government has announced the first 12 employer-led Institutes, backed by £170m in funding, to offer higher level technical education to help close skills gaps in key STEM areas. CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell comments:

"Expanding high-quality technical education and training is a top priority for employers who will welcome this extra investment. These new Institutes must also help ensure T-Levels are a long-lasting part of our education system and open the door to great careers or further training."

10 Apr 2019

New Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London

The CBI welcomes the introduction of the ULEZ as a step in the right direction towards improving London’s air quality. CBI London Director Eddie Curzon says businesses across the capital are committed to doing their bit to reduce emissions. But he adds:

"To make a success of the ULEZ, it is crucial that City Hall works with firms to help them take advantage of new technologies and support them, where required, to accelerate the take up of low emission vehicles."

05 Apr 2019

Ahead of the gender pay gap reporting deadline

Gender pay reporting must act as a catalyst for change, says CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn. On the deadline day for companies with more than 250 staff to submit their data, she adds:

"What’s crucial is that firms take concrete action and talk openly about how it’s working if they want their people and the public to believe that they mean what they say about closing their gaps."

04 Apr 2019

On proposed audit reforms

Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie responded to a report published by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, which includes a call for the structural break-up of the ‘Big 4’.

"Businesses are aware there are problems with the audit market and high-profile corporate failures have rightly prompted searching questions. But rushing to simplistic measures rather than following a clear, considered long-term approach will damage our reputation."

02 Apr 2019

Recent CBI Keynote Speeches

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