UK economy needs ‘Plan A plus’
The Government needs to go the extra mile and introduce ‘Plan A plus’ this Autumn, according to the CBI.
The business body claims that new measures are required, as it downgraded its growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.3 per cent this year, to 0.9 per cent, and from 2.2 per cent in 2012, down to 1.2 per cent.
Reducing the deficit is key, the CBI claims, and the Government must continue with their plans and keep interest rates low, but additional measures must be announced to encourage investment, bolster competitiveness and boost growth.
Key measures the body are calling for include freeing up regulation in order to encourage private sector investment. In a letter to the Chancellor, John Cridland CBI Director-General, explained that £200 billion of investment is required in the next five years to upgrade our infrastructure, and ensure that the UK remains an attractive place to invest. It is estimated that 70 per cent of this needs to come from the private sector.
The CBI also wants to see less ‘own goals’, citing the burden faced by some essential industries, which are failing to compete due to the carbon price floor. It wants energy intensive industries, which are critical to the UK’s growth, to be exempt.
Concerns over the number of teenagers that are unemployed are also high on the agenda for the CBI, but introducing a national insurance holiday for employers prepared to take the risk would help they say.
Commenting, John Cridland said: “The Government must stick to its plans to bring down the deficit to maintain confidence in the UK’s public finances and keep the cost of borrowing down, but now is the time to revitalise its growth strategy and create a “Plan A plus”.
“In uncertain economic times, confidence falters, investment grinds to a halt and job opportunities fade. This package of measures taken together could make a real difference to the economy, creating jobs and boosting growth in the years ahead.”