The Confederation of British Industry has urged Alistair Darling to outline in the upcoming budget how Britain can balance its books by 2015-16 – two years earlier than planned.
The CBI says that this would provide economic stability and encourage confidence from abroad in Britain’s finances. Pivotally, it would help to ensure Britain does not lose its AAA debt rating – the highest internationally recognised economic accreditation.
The organisation’s recommendations to the Chancellor were put forth in an open letter from CBI director general Richard Lambert. They include public sector spending cuts and efficiency measures, rather than tax increases or cuts to capital spending, to save £130bn by 2015-16. Obstacles to growth, investment and employment must be removed and entrepreneurship and competiveness should be nurtured. Small and medium sized businesses should be given help to access capital.
CBI reiterated its desire to see the one per cent planned rise in employer National Insurance contributions scrapped – a message it stated last week when leading a petition against the rise alongside seven other leading trade organisations.
“This Budget comes at a pivotal moment for the UK economy,” said CBI director general Richard Lambert. “Investors are clearly jittery about sovereign debt, but are prepared to give the UK the benefit of the doubt until after the election.
“The UK’s deficit, though worryingly large, is still manageable, but the Government must act now to set out a convincing, credible pathway for balancing the books. It is critical that this Budget provides credibility and direction on the public finances, and creates the right conditions for businesses to drive economic growth.”
To read Richard Lambert’s letter to Alistair Darling in full click here