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CBI CEO calls on parties to end political short-termism to deliver a decade of sustainable growth - CBI Business Manifesto
The CBI yesterday (Tuesday) launched its Business Manifesto – a roadmap for the next Government to deliver sustainable growth across all UK regions and nations.
- Boost UK competitiveness by delivering an ambitious business tax system showing the UK is open for business
- Prepare for the future of work by prioritising productivity and showing boldness on skills and immigration to solve shortages
- Honour our climate commitments by delivering a new Net Zero Investment Plan to drive green growth beyond 2030
- Demonstrate global leadership in tech and innovation by committing to ambitious targets and accompanying budgets on R&D and supporting businesses to adopt productivity-boosting technology
- Transform public service delivery by renewing the UK’s partnership between Government and business
While Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered an immediate injection of momentum into the economy with full expensing at the Autumn Statement, growth projections remain below trend.
The UK economy faces challenges on multiple fronts: sluggish productivity, underperforming business investment, and persistent labour and skills shortages. These require long-term solutions, over short-term headlines. And amid high costs and steep interest rates, business needs a positive economic vision that is honest about these issues and focused on long-term, credible investment in our future.
Drawing on insight from firms across the UK, the CBI’s Business Manifesto sets out a programme of action for how the next Government can hit the ground running.
Rain Newton Smith, CBI Chief Executive, yesterday said:
"With global instability showing little signs of abating, businesses across the UK are facing a myriad of challenges ahead of the next election. The UK economy needs to shift gears from short-term shock absorption to taking the long-term decisions needed to unlock its true potential.
"To achieve that requires bold decisions made in the national economic interest. The good news is that there is an emerging consensus uniting politicians and industry about what that looks like: the need to deliver sustainable growth that improves our prosperity and wellbeing.
“We’re calling on the next Government to show leadership through a reliable long-term strategy that boosts our competitiveness, addresses labour shortages, honours our climate commitments, prioritises innovation and renews the partnership between business and Government.
“The UK is at its best when politicians and businesses work together. Now is the time to reshape our economy together and deliver on our shared ambitions for the benefit of everyone.”
Key recommendations include:
- Boost the UK’s competitiveness
- Unlock investment in strategic industries by reviewing the business-funding model for local Government by the end of 2025, including business rates reform – alleviating the unpredictable cycle of rate increases to reduce the overall burden of the system pre-2026
- Launch a leading UK Trade and Investment Strategy, looking collectively at exports, imports and investment, focusing on market growth for our competitive advantages and elevating the role of UK Mayors as part of the UK’s global investment pitch
- Prepare for the future of work by prioritising productivity
- Deliver a cross-departmental multi-year strategy to address labour market shortages, focused on skills and immigration to fill vacancies and drive productivity growth
- This should involve a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the UK’s immigration system, including the competitiveness of UK visa costs and service standards, and the inclusion of students in UK net migration figures
- Honour our climate commitments and secure green growth
- Lead internationally through a clear Net Zero Investment Plan which identifies opportunities for investment and allows the UK to deliver against the carbon budget timelines
- Deliver commitments in the Green Finance Strategy to support the UK’s objective to be a global centre for sustainable finance
- Review the tax system to ensure it supports businesses’ transition to net zero and incentivises production and investment in green energy and decarbonisation. For example, through a bespoke green super-deduction for firms investing in capital assets that reduce their carbon emissions or improve energy efficiency
- Demonstrate global leadership in technology and innovation
- Set a relative target for the UK to lead the G7 on R&D intensity by 2030 supported by long-term budgets that spur innovation
- This includes delivering long-term ambitious regional innovation programmes, scaling R&D intensity across the UK
- Back British business through targeted national programmes which encourage broader technology adoption and investment in all industries
- Transform public service delivery through a new era of Government and business partnership
- Deliver Outcomes-Based Regulation, utilising the UK Regulators Network to drive innovation
- Crowd in private investment through new bi-annual public-private investment forums, convening Government departments and investors with a reformed Office for Investment.
- Design a competitive advantage challenge fund to maximise the UK’s national assets over the decade
Carl Ennis, Siemens GB & Ireland CEO yesterday said:
“I welcome the CBI’s Business Manifesto - it builds on the Government’s recent raft of longer-term growth measures announced in the Autumn Statement. It is particularly vital that UK businesses of all sizes are encouraged through better financing and consistent policy, to invest in the people and technology they need to reduce their carbon emissions and improve productivity and energy efficiency.”
David Crichton-Miller, SQW CEO & CBI SME Council Chair, yesterday said:
“It’s great to see the CBI and its members setting out such a comprehensive and rich set of proposals for growing the UK economy. This manifesto for growth puts forward a lot of targeted proposals for addressing the pressures and opportunities of businesses small as well as large.”
Karen Betts, Food and Drink Federation CEO & CBI Trade Association Council Chair, yesterday said
“An ambitious pro-growth agenda is critical for UK businesses to attract the investment they need to innovate, modernise and grow, which in turn boosts productivity and economic output. Central to this is Government creating the right policy environment and regulation to foster investment, setting out a clear roadmap to net zero and ensuring we have the skills we need for tomorrow’s economy to thrive.”
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