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Bradford businesses call for Chancellor to start delivering on growth promise
Bradford businesses are backing the call from their national body, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), for Chancellor George Osborne to deliver on economic growth in his budget today.
Bradford Chamber of Commerce said Mr Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron needed to stop promising and start delivering when the Budget statement is presented.
The BCC said it recognised the current severe financial constraints, but said there is still room for manoeuvre within the current spending regime.
Bradford Chamber president, Stephen Wright, said: “What the British Chambers have said is that the focus on deficit reduction has been correct, but that growth also needs to happen. Otherwise, you end up with a sterile, unproductive economic landscape on a downward spiral.”
The Government is being asked to shift its spending programme towards measures that will guarantee growth, such as building roads and houses, and also introduce a three-year freeze on business rates to create more stability and confidence.
The local and national Chamber bodies are also in agreement on other areas of Government policy.
“The Government has made more-than-enough promises delivering the UK from recession but the pace is far too slow”, added Mr Wright. “It should look to abandon departmental ring-fencing and consider cuts to universal benefits.
“We’ve also yet to see progress on the Business Bank that would provide more assurance for those businesses needing finance. I think confidence would improve if this was launched.”
A summary of the BCC submission is that the Government should retain flexibility in its deficit reduction plan.
It warns that the Government may have to consider major cuts in business taxation and other radical measures, such as massive infrastructure pump-priming, if growth does not improve.
The BCC is calling for direct investment in much-needed new housing and for 100,000 new homes to be built over and above existing targets by 2015.
They also want to create a new Road Repair and Renewal Fund to fix Britain’s local roads and expand support for companies exporting to overseas markets.
The total cost of their recommended measures is £29.59bn over three years.