CBI responds to release of Q1 GDP figures

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said latest data confirms the economy was hit once again by a renewed lockdown at the turn of the year, the fall in activity was much smaller compared with Spring 2020.

“To inject momentum into the recovery, the government should provide clarity on outstanding issues around re-opening, including social distancing, access to workplace testing and use of Covid-status certification.”

12 May 2021

CBI Scotland responds to latest review of COVID restrictions

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said a big effort is needed from both the Scottish and UK governments over the summer to support business and economic recovery across the country.

“Further reopening of some of Scotland’s hardest-hit sectors comes as a huge relief to business owners that have endured a torrid year of lockdown restrictions. Having lost out on festive trading, hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail firms will be looking to the weeks ahead with greater optimism than for some time."

11 May 2021

Queens's Speech reaction

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

“The strong focus on skills will support high quality, local jobs. The emphasis on rail, bus and digital will better connect local economies. And a fresh approach to innovation will unlock big, bold ideas and new sources of growth around the country."

11 May 2021

CBI responds to PM announcement on Covid reopening

John Foster, CBI Director of Policy, said it's encouraging to see the roadmap remains on track, with the certainty it’s provided businesses so far already evident in recent economic data.

“Meanwhile, the Government can inject further momentum into the recovery by providing companies with clarity on outstanding issues, including social distancing, covid status certificates and the future of workplace testing beyond June 21."

10 May 2021

Growing productivity and tackling inequality are key to post-Covid levelling-up - CBI

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief of UK Policy, said every region has strong sectors and clusters of excellence around which it can rebuild.

“Government and business must therefore work together to make the necessary 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.”

10 May 2021

CBI responds to new rules on international travel

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

"Today's clarification of country classifications must be the first step towards a genuine reopening of international travel. The priority now has to be to work with business to lower cost barriers to safe travel and build the evidence base for safely reopening quarantine-free travel to more key destinations - reconnecting UK firms with key markets for a globally competitive recovery."

07 May 2021

CBI responds to the new UK-India trade deal

Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI president, said:

“The enhanced trade partnership will usher in a new era of UK-India relations and shows the world the strength of our relationship. Paving the way for a future UK-India Free Trade Agreement and setting the ambition of more than doubling bilateral trade from the current level of £23 billion by 2030. As leaders in tech and innovation this enhanced partnership will unlock opportunities for businesses, boost job creation and growth across the country."

04 May 2021

CBI hosts global business summit ahead of G7

Lord Bilimoria, CBI President said action on the climate emergency, making the case for free trade and tapping into the true potential of the digital age, are issues that cannot wait for tomorrow.

“Now is the time to start creating opportunity and prosperity in all corners – to shape our global, post pandemic future. And it is business who stands ready to lead the way in building a better world.”

04 May 2021

Four nation cooperation on future of social distancing "key piece of recovery jigsaw" - CBI Northern Ireland

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said indicative timings have proven invaluable in helping businesses to forward plan and develop contingencies with confidence.

“By asking both Governments to show their hands sooner rather than later, we can develop a consistent way forward for firms across the UK. By communicating early and clearly, both Governments can help businesses to plan, prepare and invest.”

01 May 2021

CBI NI comments on reopening of hospitality, retail & leisure

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail firms will be looking to the weeks ahead with cautious optimism.

“Government support has provided a lifeline during an unprecedented twelve months. But with firms still low on cash, confidence and demand, additional help from the Executive will be needed. Further financial support could offer flexibility and help cushion firms during a precarious restart phase where jobs and livelihoods remain in the balance."

30 Apr 2021

Employers can lead reduction in commuter transport emissions - CBI

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

“A key change will be for businesses to now take greater responsibility for their employees’ commutes. They should factor these emissions into their net-zero strategies and set out tangible steps to help their teams make greener journeys."

30 Apr 2021

CBI responds to publication of new Covid Recovery Commission report

Tony Danker, CBI Director General, said business stands four-square on the need to create a fairer, more resilient economy post-Covid and to accelerate the race to net zero.

“The Commission’s findings provide yet another proof point of a growing consensus in the business community for industry and government to work together to take on the biggest issues we face."

28 Apr 2021

CBI responds to European Parliament ratification of Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Tony Danker, CBI Director General, said:

“Ratification of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is a decisive step forward, but it’s far from the end of the process for business. The next phase is normalising relations between the UK and EU, in order to smooth trade and maximise the benefits of the new economic partnership.”

28 Apr 2021

CBI responds to the G7 Digital Ministerial Declaration

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Digital, said:

“Over the last year, digital technologies have acted as a bedrock of resilience for economies. This agreement can be a springboard for an inclusive, sustainable recovery and industry is ready to play its part to deliver this shared vision.”

28 Apr 2021

CBI Wales responds to quicker easing of Covid restrictions

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said bringing forward the easing of specific lockdown measures will be greatly welcomed by business owners, particularly those in the hardest-hit leisure and hospitality sectors.

“With Covid rates falling and the vaccine programme performing well, employers and consumers will be able to look ahead to the summer months with renewed optimism following a tough year.”

23 Apr 2021

Our response to the UK's new 78% emissions reduction target by 2035

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said the target emphasises the importance of the 2020s as a decade of delivery on our climate ambitions.

“As COP26 hosts, the UK Government is leading by example by setting this stretching target. Business stands ready to deliver with the latest low-carbon technologies and innovations that are driving emissions down every year. By tackling this together, we can reap the benefits of transition to a low-carbon economy."

20 Apr 2021

CBI responds to the latest labour market statistics

Matthew Percival, CBI Director of People and Skills, said:

“Evidence continues to mount that it is young people's jobs that have been hardest hit by lockdowns. Support for jobs and training will be vital to making the UK’s economic recovery inclusive. Government should confirm that the extra lockdown at the beginning of the year means that the Kickstart Scheme will remain open for longer to allow businesses the time to deliver opportunities for young people.”

20 Apr 2021

Industrial clusters in every region the only way to level up - CBI chief

In his address, Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said:

“True levelling up will not be achieved by regions working towards identikit – and at times competing – economic strategies. Rather, it will come from areas knowing their strengths, recognising the opportunities this can create, and capitalising on them to forge their own path to long-term prosperity.”

19 Apr 2021

CBI Northern Ireland responds to easing of Covid restrictions

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said:

While this announcement – in conjunction with progress in vaccine rollout – does offer real hope, every effort must continue to be made to support businesses as they seek to get back up and running. That means the UK Government and Executive working together to instil public confidence and bolster the private sector while the economy gets back on its feet.

15 Apr 2021

CBI responds to Global Travel Taskforce announcement

John Foster, CBI Director of Policy, said firms will welcome confirmation of a risk-based ‘traffic light’ approach to travel routes, alongside the scaling back of onerous quarantine restrictions for travellers from some destinations.

"Key milestones to review progress must be agreed in partnership with the travel industry, their supply chains and wider sectors that rely on global connectivity to ensure the most appropriate balance between driving economic recovery and protecting public health.”

09 Apr 2021

CBI response to PM Covid update

John Foster, CBI Director of Policy, said knowing the Covid roadmap is on track can help create the economic momentum the country needs as the second phase of reopening begins. He added:

“Restarting international travel is vital for all parts of the economy, including tourism. The new traffic light system is a simple, risk-based approach that business has been calling for. It should be implemented alongside straightforward border arrangements, advance testing where necessary, and high-quality communications about any future changes to a country’s status."

05 Apr 2021

CBI Wales responds to lockdown roadmap

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director welcomed the publication of the route map for a economic restart in Wales that puts safety first, but added a unified approach across the UK was vital for instilling public confidence:

“We know from experience that the economy can’t be turned on and off like a light switch, meaning that a challenging and uncertain few months still lie ahead. Every effort should be made to support businesses as they seek to get back up and running following such a long-term break in trading."

01 Apr 2021

CBI responds to Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, recognises progress has been made, but argues there is a long way still to go on supporting the career progression of ethnically diverse employees:

“When it comes to supporting the career progression of ethnically diverse employees, transparency is the watchword. And while progress has been made, there is a long way to go."

31 Mar 2021

Our response to the UK/EU financial service memorandum of understanding

Flora Hamilton, CBI Financial Services Director, said effective regulatory cooperation between the UK & EU on financial services will lead to better services for customers.

“Together with earlier draft data adequacy decisions, businesses will want this Memorandum of Understanding to signal growing services cooperation between the two trading partners.”

27 Mar 2021

CBI responds to additional business rates relief

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said this latest relief will now help some of the forgotten supply chain businesses hit indirectly by restrictions and offers more support to the devolved nations, so credit to the Government for listening to the concerns of business. She added:

“It’s a tricky balance to strike, but other firms whose revenues have been hard hit by the crisis will certainly be highly frustrated that their appeals for discounts will be null and void now.”

25 Mar 2021

CBI responds to latest Government-backed loans figures

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said Bounce Back loans have been a standout success, with lenders working at speed to get emergency funds to companies in their hour of need.

“From unveiling substantial measures at the outset of the pandemic to announcing the Recovery Loan scheme at Budget, the Treasury has taken bold, decisive steps to protect livelihoods throughout this crisis. Government support has saved countless jobs and businesses."

25 Mar 2021

Our response to the TUC's AI at work report

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Innovation & Digital, said AI has the potential to transform the workplace, by giving employees more time to focus on decision-making, creativity and customer service.

“To help build public trust businesses must continue engage employees closely, invest in the right governance processes and embed a culture of lifelong learning.”

25 Mar 2021

CBI responds to Tax Day

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist said firms want to see that same decisiveness shown at Budget used to fundamentally reform the unfair business rates system.

“We look forward to working closely with the Government to help deliver that simpler, modern tax system that promotes business investment and the move to a low carbon economy.”

23 Mar 2021

Response to ONS labour market statistics

Matthew Percival, CBI People & Skills Director, said clear evidence about the impact of the pandemic on young people over the past year reinforces the need to extend the deadline for the Kickstart scheme for another six months.

“With approximately five million people still on furlough, the Chancellor’s move to extend and taper the scheme will help support many jobs as the roadmap for reopening gets underway."

19 May 2020

CBI responds to the publication of Policy Statement on the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA)

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Innovation, said:

“Business backs the Government's ambition to be a science superpower. The creation of ARIA is a strong signal that government is placing a big bet on science and innovation success. But we now need to go all in. This includes vital funding for UKRI and for association to Horizon Europe."

19 Mar 2021

CBI responds to changes in government incentives for electric vehicles

Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director, said a clear and consistent pathway for incentives will ensure business can continue to deliver the government’s ambitions for reducing transport emissions.

“With a stretching 2030 target in place to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, we must avoid sending mixed messages to consumers and businesses. Switching to an electric vehicle still has many barriers, including high upfront costs and availability of reliable charging points."

18 Mar 2021

Response to audit and corporate governance proposals

Matthew Fell, CBI UK Chief Policy Director welcomed the new audit and company reporting regulator. He also said an increasing emphasis on non-financial information would help provide a rounded view of firms’ performance. He continued:

“But many businesses are still to be convinced that mandating shared audits will get to the heart of the issues around rigour and quality, not just add complexity."

18 Mar 2021

CBI responds to publication of Integrated Review

Andy Burwell, CBI Director of International Trade, said business looks forward to working with government to implement the plan and drive prosperity in all parts of the country.

“Business will welcome the importance placed on relations with key growth markets to boost business confidence, along with a balanced approach to China. Key to this partnership will be closely aligning international interests to priorities at home, be that championing the race to net zero or investing in future technology."

16 Mar 2021

CBI Scotland responds to latest Covid review

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said tentative steps out of lockdown would be a boost for business but there was still some way to go.

"Government support has provided a lifeline during an unprecedented twelve months, but with firms low on cash, confidence and demand, further support is needed. Restart grants will offer flexibility and help cushion firms during a precarious restart phase where jobs and livelihoods remain in the balance."

16 Mar 2021

CBI responds to publication of National Bus Strategy

Tom Thackray, CBI Director of Infrastructure, said business investment would play a major role in funding the next generation of zero emissions buses.

“The National Bus Strategy has reinvigorated the case for public investment in greener, better integrated, and more customer-orientated bus services nationwide. Business welcomes the ambitions to drive a significant shift from private car use to bus services, clearing our towns, cities and countryside of congestion."

15 Mar 2021

Extend Kickstart scheme deadline by six months - CBI President

On extending the Kickstart deadline, Lord Bilimoria said:

“With the scheme due to end in less than 9 months employers simply don’t have enough time to make the most of it. Extending the deadline by six months would account for any delays as our economy re-opens, guarantee time to process the huge demand for placements, and ensure as many young people benefit from the scheme as possible."

15 Mar 2021

CBI Wales responds to steps out of lockdown announcement

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said the announcement of a more limited relaxation of restrictions than anticipated left firms with the impression of being marched to the top of the hill, only to be asked to walk back down again.

“With low demand and cashflow problems affecting almost all SMEs across Wales, many will have already undertaken significant and costly preparations to ensure they get up and running as soon as possible. While continued business support is obviously welcome, it can’t come close to making up for lost trade."

12 Mar 2021

Our response to the latest Parker Review data

Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI President and Chair of Change the Race Ratio, said FTSE 100 firms had made real headway on ethnic diversity at the top. He added:

“This is an important milestone, but not job done. Companies need to keep up momentum with actions to improve ethnic diversity at every level, developing talented future leaders from across society."

12 Mar 2021

CBI comments on latest GDP figures

Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said while a year of repeated restrictions had taken their toll, vaccines and further Covid support were reasons for optimism.

“As we look towards recovery, the Government must now have a laser-like focus on the UK’s longer-term competitiveness by prioritising measures which stimulate jobs and skills growth, fulfil levelling-up ambitions and accelerate moves towards net zero.”

12 Mar 2021

CBI NI responds to new executive financial support measures

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said welcomed the targeted business support and noted fast delivery would be crucial. She added:

“Now business rates support has been extended to 12 months, it will provide greater financial certainty for local firms. Business grants have also been a lifeline for many small businesses, especially those that are only partially opened and experiencing low volumes of trade. Continued grant support will be necessary for struggling sectors including hospitality, tourism and retail, who are operating in an extremely challenging economic environment.”

11 Mar 2021

CBI Construction Council comments on new low carbon industry strategy

Greg Craig, Chair of the CBI Construction Council, said CO2nstruct Zero will focus minds on practical steps businesses can take now and over the long-term.

"The CBI welcomes and supports the CO2nstruct Zero initiative being driven and coordinated by the Construction Leadership Council. Rapidly reducing carbon emissions and improving the environmental performance of built assets is the industry's biggest long-term challenge."

11 Mar 2021

CBI Scotland responds to passing of Scottish Budget

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, welcomed the further Covid support saying it must continue in parallel for as long as restrictions remain. She added:

"Additional support for decarbonising homes is welcome and must be viewed as an urgent priority as we push for a green recovery. Extra funding for upskilling and retraining in the North East is a further positive move that will support the local economy to diversify."

10 Mar 2021

New London Mayor must champion a sustainable and inclusive recovery, says CBI

Jordan Cummins, CBI London Head of Policy, said this mayoral election comes at a pivotal time for London’s economy:

"London finds itself under the watchful eye of the world and many of its pre-Covid challenges remain. Housing affordability still prices out key workers, while infrastructure investment is still critical to London’s long-term ambitions. And economic and social inequality unfortunately remain currents running through our city. At a moment like this, both leadership and partnership are paramount."

08 Mar 2021

CBI responds to UK-US agreement on the suspension of tariffs

Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said news of a short-term agreement to suspend US retaliatory tariffs on UK exports, from scotch whisky to textiles, is extremely welcome.

“This positive step must now lay the foundations for talks at pace to resolve the dispute once and for all. This dispute is lose-lose for all involved at a time when business is suffering from the pandemic, global trade and investment is crucial for economic recovery.”

04 Mar 2021

CBI Northern Ireland responds to the Budget

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said the Budget succeeds strongly in protecting the economy now and kickstarting recovery - but leaves open the question of Northern Ireland's competitiveness with the Republic’s Corporation Tax rate of 12.5%.

“The Government and the Executive must now have a laser-like focus on Northern Ireland’s competitive position in the round, including fundamental reform of Business Rates, investment in skills and a relook at how Northern Ireland competes with the Republic’s Corporation Tax rate of 12.5%. Northern Ireland must remain attractive for every type of business, from the innovation, high-growth homegrown firm to the global firms investing locally.”

03 Mar 2021

CBI response to Budget

Tony Danker, CBI Director General, said the Budget succeeds strongly in protecting the economy now and kickstarting recovery - but leaves the open the question of UK competitiveness long term.

“The Chancellor has taken a welcome, broad view on how to stimulate growth from the new Infrastructure Bank, to Help to Grow and incentives to take on apprentices. The super deduction should be a real catalyst for firms to greenlight investment decisions. But moving Corporation Tax to 25% in one leap will cause a sharp intake of breath for many businesses.”

03 Mar 2021

CBI responds to extension of Job Retention Scheme

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said extending the scheme will keep millions more in work and give businesses the chance to catch their breath as we carefully exit lockdown.

“As we make progress into the summer, it’s right that businesses start contributing to be part of the scheme. Meanwhile it’s great to see more support for the newly self-employed, who have missed out over the last year.”

02 Mar 2021

CBI Wales responds to Welsh Budget announcements

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said the Welsh Government is doing the right thing by putting Covid support and economic recovery at the centre of the Budget.

“While investment in long term priorities like infrastructure will help to put the local economy on the path to growth, consumption and government spending alone can’t deliver the sustainable recovery we need. All eyes will be on the UK Budget for measures cementing short-term support, incentivising investment and setting out a path to sustainable growth over the longer term.”

02 Mar 2021

CBI NI responds to the Executive's Pathway to Recovery

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said caution must remain the watchword but companies need more clarity on the likely sequencing of lifting restrictions.

“While the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery represents a good starting point, many NI businesses will still be left feeling disappointed. Considerable uncertainty remains over when they can reopen their doors and goes to show the complexity of reopening the economy."

02 Mar 2021

CBI responds to extra £93m investment in Wales at Budget

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said the Chancellor is committing to an investment in Wales’ green future with hydrogen and rail to the fore.

“Meanwhile, extra monies for the city deals will enable all parts of Wales to bring forward projects that will make a real difference to communities. If the economy is to snap back into shape, then Wednesday’s Budget will also need to incentivise businesses to get spending on jobs, skills and innovation.”

01 Mar 2021

CBI comments on launch of 'Help to Grow' scheme

Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said Help to Grow would make a real difference on the ground.

“The UK has some of the most productive companies in the world, but also a long tail who are not yet firing on all cylinders. Management training, access to digital advice and making productivity-enhancing software more affordable will all help smaller businesses become more effective and play their full part in driving the economic recovery.”

01 Mar 2021

Action now will protect economy and give lasting Budget boost to jobs, confidence and investment

Rain Newton Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:

“The Prime Minister’s roadmap for easing restrictions and the Chancellor’s forthcoming Budget represents two parts of the same story – bookending the immediate Covid-19 crisis by relieving firms under pressure and setting the economy on a path to recovery."

28 Feb 2021

New mayors must champion sustainable and inclusive recovery, says CBI

Addressing the launch of the Greater Manchester Revival plan, CBI North West Director Damian Waters said:

To address the short-term challenges of Covid-19, and turn Greater Manchester into a healthier, more productive, and thriving place, the newly-elected metro mayor must champion a strong economic vision. This vision must enable businesses to succeed, and recognise that a strong economy which delivers shared growth and good jobs can raise living standards and wages for all."

25 Feb 2021

CBI President responds to NI Economic Recovery Action Plan

Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI President, welcomed the plan, saying firms would have their sights firmly fixed on next week’s Executive roadmap and the Chancellor’s UK-wide Budget.

“Northern Irish businesses are full square behind this recovery plan. Investing in skills, creating employment opportunities, as well as stimulating investment and demand are strongly aligned with the CBI’s vision for an inclusive, jobs-rich and green economic recovery."

25 Feb 2021

Our response to the latest Hampton-Alexander Review data

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, welcomed the progress made in hitting such an historic milestone ahead of the Hampton-Alexander target.

"Firms must continue to dismantle barriers that prevent women rising to the top – by building fair and inclusive workplaces which bring about lasting change. Now this target has been reached, it’s time to go further on female representation and accelerate progress on racial and ethnic diversity in Britain’s boardrooms.”

23 Feb 2021



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