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CBI's full response to Spending Round

The CBI made its full response to the Chancellor’s parliamentary statement on the Spending Round for 2015/16.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:

“The Chancellor has carefully walked a tightrope of protecting growth, while making sizeable savings to pay down the debt.

“Infrastructure is rightly singled out as the most effective engine for growth, as we urged. While the Government talks a good game on infrastructure we’ve seen too little delivery on the ground so far.

“It is critical we see a real pipeline of projects announced tomorrow, so investors know what schemes are going ahead, where and when.

“Other pro-growth areas including science, innovation, skills and exports have also been shielded from cuts. The £185 million boost for the Technology Strategy Board - a crucial anchor for innovation - is particularly welcome.

“With stretched government finances it is tough but necessary to target automatic progression pay in the public sector. It is encouraging to see that Government will have greater control of the welfare budget through the new cap.

“The next big challenge to address is the issue of ring-fencing to ensure that efficiency flows across all parts of the public sector.”

On capital investment:

“The Government has avoided repeating the mistake it made in the last Spending Round when it cut capital spending far too deeply. By locking in investment until 2020, the Chancellor has offered investors greater certainty, but they will need a detailed pipeline to pump their money into projects.”

On innovation and science:

“Innovation is a crucial engine of growth and it has been under-resourced for far too long. Protecting the science budget will help maintain growing levels of business investment in R&D.”

On skills:

“Reforming apprenticeship funding while maintaining the budget is a big step in the right direction. We have to make sure training keeps pace with industry needs, putting employers in the driving seat.”

On public service reform:

“There is still much further to go to deliver public services more efficiently. Pooling budgets and sharing services at all levels of government can create major savings, while protecting quality.”

On exports:

"It’s right to link increases in UK Trade and Investment’s budget to improved commercial nous, at a time when it must be firing on all cylinders to boost exports and support the drive for growth.”

On housing:

“The commitment to invest in new affordable housing should be good news but let’s wait for the details tomorrow. Ministers have been bold in boosting the mortgage market but the missing piece of the puzzle is ramping up housing supply.

“The measures tomorrow must increase the pace of house-building, attract more private funding and reduce the cost to the tax payer.”  

 

 

On the Single Local Growth Fund:

“We need regeneration to unlock the potential of towns and cities across the UK and the Single Local Growth Fund can be an important catalyst. With fewer strings attached it represents an opportunity for local authorities to outline a clear strategy for growth.”

On defence spending:

“The drive for savings in the MoD should strike the right balance between securing value for money and achieving the best support for the armed services.”

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