Although the outlook for the UK economy remains gloomy, leading business groups welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which contained measures designed to boost demand. The Institute of Directors agreed with the Chancellor sticking to his spending policy, as the time wasn’t right to change direction. The chief executive of the EEF manufacturers’ group, Terry Scuoler acknowledged that the measures had been introduced to remove barriers to growth, although the present climate wasn’t typical.
Mr Scuoler believes that increased competition is needed in the banking sector and increase investment in UK businesses by temporarily raising capital allowances. The Confederation of British Industry was pleased, as infrastructure will receive extra investment. Housing issues and youth unemployment were also targeted, along with assistance for companies which are energy intensive and medium sized businesses.
John Cridland of the CBI said:
“We are delighted that our campaign to gain support for medium-sized businesses has been heeded and we warmly welcome the business finance partnership and measures to support exports.”
Simon Walker, for Institute of Directors welcomed employment legislation changes, although he called for stronger reform of the process for dismissal. The director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, John Longworth said:
“The biggest challenges to UK businesses remain global demand and economic uncertainty. Firms will give the chancellor credit for pulling the levers under his control, but will remain concerned about the wider economic environment.”
Concerns were raised concerning credit easing scheme, which could strengthen the banks market position. Alternative sources of credit are being called for to increase competition.
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