CBI calls on Chancellor to stick to guns

Monday 3 December 2012

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The Chancellor must stick to the course on deficit reduction, but to do more to drive growth, according to a leading business lobby group.

In its submission ahead of the Autumn Statement, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for George Osborne to announce a series of pro-business measures.

The organisation wants to see the UK business bank up and running as soon as possible, no reductions to pension tax relief, and a continued effort to drive down public spending.

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said the confederation fully supports the government’s deficit reduction plan.

He claimed this is "critical" for the UK to keep the confidence of international markets.

On the business bank, Mr Cridland said there is a consensus emerging that such an institution can help ease the transition to a new normal of business lending.

“The CBI will judge its success on two fronts," he noted.

“First, whether it improves the take up of existing products, such as UK Export Finance, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and the Regional Growth Fund, which it should do by establishing a one-stop-shop.

“Second, the business bank needs to plug the finance gap for growing medium-sized businesses by providing a wholesale funding solution to deliver long-term ‘patient capital'.”

Posted by Steve Williams