01 October 2013

Business groups call for more ambition

Business groups are urging George Osborne to be more ambitious and do more to help businesses thrive, such as cutting bureaucracy and boosting investment.

Business groups are urging Chancellor George Osborne to be “more ambitious” by doing more to help start-ups, reducing taxes and making improvements to both the nation’s infrastructure and financial system.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the CBI are all putting pressure on Mr Osborne to make changes to help businesses thrive, including cutting bureaucracy and boosting investment.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, is calling for the Government to take urgent action.

He says: “We need to show more ambition for Britain’s growth prospects. The Government needs to get moving with its promises, rather than just talking the talk.”

Infrastructure needs improvement

The BCC is asking the Government to get going on improvements to the UK’s roads and railways. It wants the superfast rail line High Speed 2 to go ahead and for business rates to be reduced to help companies out financially

Other things on the organisation’s wish list include scaling up the Business Bank so it works directly with small firms and start-ups and for the Government to push on with using nuclear power and fracking to meet the country’s energy demands.

The IoD also echoes calls for business rates to be lowered to help firms across the UK. They believe lower public spending could allow the Government to make this tax cut.

Business confidence on the up

Meanwhile, a new survey has shown that companies are starting to look towards expansion as confidence increases. The research by Deloitte shows business growth is now more of a priority than costs for the first time in two years.

The poll quizzed 116 finance directors at Britain’s 350 largest listed companies and the results reveal companies are more willing to take risks now than at any point in the last six years.

Ian Stewart, Chief Economist at Deloitte, sats: “The defensive strategies of cost cutting and cash accumulation are increasingly out of favour. The priority is now expansion and the cycle has turned decisively towards growth.”