Government must redirect spending to growth measures, urges Notts Chamber
THE Chancellor must divert spending away from unproductive areas to measures which will stimulate growth when he delivers his Budget next week, says the president of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.
Ian Greenaway told guests at the chamber's annual dinner that, while it supported deficit reduction, the country was reaching the point where the action would be impossible if there was no growth.
"We need the Government to respond flexibly, as we would do in business when facing similar situations," he said.
"We have warned the Government that it may need to consider major cuts in business taxation and other radical measures such as infrastructure investment on a large scale if growth does not improve significantly later this year."
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While there was growth last year, the ride had been bumpy but there was strong evidence that Notts and Derbyshire outperformed the national picture.
Mr Greenaway said that the chamber's first quarter economic survey showed an improved UK and export sales performance, with order books for the second quarter looking healthier.
Many small local companies were planning growth.
"We have warned the Government that it may need to consider major cuts in business taxation and other radical measures such as infrastructure investment on a large scale if growth does not improve significantly later this year," he added.
The Budget should radically re-prioritise resources within the existing spending boundaries away from unproductive spending and towards measures for growth that could be delivered quickly.
"These measures will increase economic activity and create jobs but will come at the cost of difficult decisions on things like universal benefits."
He added: "We need to ensure that the Government delivers on promises already made, including the introduction of a business bank and the delivery of key infrastructure projects.
"Economic recovery depends on both individuals having the confidence to spend and businesses having the confidence to invest in the future with the reasonable expectation that they will get a return on that investment."
During the year, the chamber lobbied on many issues of concern including the A453 road-widening, improvements to the Nottingham ring road, Hucknall town centre and the electrification of the Midland Main Line.
The chamber led on international trade in the region helping seasoned operators and those new to exporting.
"We are also helping businesses to develop their workforce though apprenticeships, work programme and business training, said Mr Greenaway.
He encouraged success stories to be played up to help boost confidence. "Let's stop talking about a slight slowing in growth as if we are falling over the edge of the cliff. Equally, let's not use daft expressions like 'negative growth' when we mean decline."
Mr Greenaway also announced the launch of a chamber business advice website.