Suffolk: Chamber’s Budget submission urges Chancellor to go for growth

Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber

Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber - Credit: Archant

SUFFOLK Chamber of Commerce is urging Chancellor George Osborne to take radical steps in his Budget speech next week to shift Government spending towards measures capable of delivering swift results in terms of growth.

The chamber’s call to prioritise spending on economic growth is backed by the findings of a major public opinion survey commissioned by the British Chambers of Commerce.

Polling firm ComRes found that 51% of the public back shifting resource towards growth even if it meanscuts to other social spending, whereas only 28% disagreed.

“The Chancellor should seize this opportunity and go all out in the name of growth.” said Suffolk Chamber of Commerce president Peter Funnell.

“We are calling for measures that create an environment of enterprise, stimulate exports, kick-start infrastructure projects and create a structure of business finance which supports growing companies. Government spending remains far too focused on unproductive programmes rather than measures that underpin economic growth, wealth creation and prosperity,” said Dr Funnell.

“Research shows that firms across Britain believe they can drive growth this year, but they can’t do it alone,” he continued.

“Time is running out. Bold action must be taken now to boost confidence so that businesses can create wealth and prosperity. That means both delivering existing promises and taking radical action today, not tomorrow.”

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The chamber’s Budget submission includes measures that would involve reprioritising nearly 2% of the country’s GDP over the next three years. It calls on the Government to embark on a large-scale effort to deliver promises already made which include a firm timetable for the launch of a credible business bank and a redoubling of efforts to incentivise private sector investment in infrastructure.

Progress on raising private sector finance is slow, with the Government a long way from reaching its target of £20billion, the chamber says.

“There is also a lack of urgency in delivering business-critical projects, and many have been delayed,” added Dr Funnell. “Once underway, these projects will deliver confidence, orders, jobs and competitiveness. Infrastructure delivery must become a top priority across government.”