The employers body Confederation of British Industry has set out its proposals for the first hundred days of the new Government – and it doesn’t make comfortable reading for the Tories.
The CBI’s ‘Best Foot Forward’ report states that the next government should initiate a comprehensive spending review that, when public finances allow, would increase capital spending as a percentage of GDP.
The report also cautions that during the deficit reduction period “whilst additional capital spending in this period must be fully-funded, an overemphasis on achieving budget targets by a particular point in time should be avoided.”
The report also urges the new government to set out terms for keeping the UK in the European Union and to extend the fifteen hours free child care to all families with one and two year olds to help family finances.
In response to the CBI TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Businesses and trade unions agree on the need to increase capital spending as a share of GDP. But the Chancellor’s plans to permanently shrink the state will leave it in the doldrums.
“The CBI rightly argues that inflexible budget targets should be avoided if they put urgently needed capital spending at risk. They now need to go further and recognise the importance of an immediate capital boost to secure the recovery and eliminate the deficit. And the Chancellor needs to recognise that the budget targets he set out last week risk landing the economy in serious trouble.”
“Reforming the financial sector to focus on long-term investment in the real economy, instead of casino-capitalism, is an area of common cause. We need a plan that will turn Britain into a modern manufacturing economy, making the UK a strong exporter and a global leader in green technology.
“However, a particular area of concern is the CBI support for rushing into the TTIP treaty, which risks leaving future governments unable to roll back privatisation in the NHS, and unable to bring public goods like the railways back into public ownership, despite clear public support for this policy.”