The CBI has today released a report: The Coalition Government One Year On: the Business Perspective. The CBI gives its assessment of the first year of the coalition government.
At the CBI’s annual general meeting held in London today, Sir Roger Carr was formally elected president of the UK’s leading business organisation. Sir Roger, chairman of Centrica plc, takes over from Helen Alexander, chairman of the Port of London Authority. He is expected to serve a two-year term in the role.
In the report, the government is praised for its decisive attack on the deficit, for its reform of corporation taxes, for prioritising trade and investment, and its proactive approach to enterprise and industrial policy.
However, the CBI said that government policy hasn’t been as effective in reforming the energy market. Progress on a number of policies including the move to a low-carbon economy has been slow. Also, the CBI has labelled the government’s attempts to increase labour market flexibility and reforming public services have been sluggish.
Sir Roger said: “The government must be commended for its actions to put the UK’s public finances onto a firmer footing, vital for getting confidence back into the markets and bringing public borrowing down to a more sustainable level. [However] government must work harder in laying the right foundations for businesses to grow and business must respond accordingly.”
“[The government] can and must set the right framework. It can do this by removing roadblocks like overbearing regulations, providing incentives through the tax system, encouraging investment in infrastructure, facilitating when necessary, and reforming our public services,” he argued.
Commenting on areas of government policy which require urgent action, CBI Director-General John Cridland said: “There’s much the government should be given credit for in a busy and productive first year. Acting decisively and swiftly on the deficit has certainly laid a firm foundation for future growth. But now we need to see delivery on the ground. Some areas, like energy, low-carbon policy and public service reform, are still in need of urgent action.”