Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech today at the CBI’s annual conference and has outlined a “strategy for growth” for Britain’s private sector – just days after his Government unveiled its harsh Comprehensive Spending Review.
The spending cuts introduced by the Coalition Government have received mixed responses; many have been critical of them warning that slashing the deficit too quickly could pose a threat to economic recovery and push the UK back into a recession.
However, Mr Cameron has pledged a “forensic, relentless approach” to ensuring the UK’s future economic growth.
The Government’s intention is to provide opportunities for start-up companies and boost business confidence and growth.
“British business should have no more vocal a champion that the British government and that’s why I have put the promotion of British commerce and trade at the heart of our foreign and economic policy,” said Mr Cameron.
Last week, the Government said around half a million public sector jobs will go by 2014, as part of its spending review but it argues that new jobs will be created by the private sector.
Immigration was a topic which was discussed widely and the PM said the Government will adhere to a manifesto pledge by introducing a permanent cap on the number of people from outside the EU able to take up work in the UK from April 2011.
British businesses fear that the cap will put them at a competitive disadvantage but Mr Cameron said reassured them and said: “As we control our borders and bring immigration to a manageable level, we will not impede you from attracting the best talent from around the world.”
Meanwhile, the PM revealed plans to “update and modernise” Britain’s infrastructure by unlocking £200 billion worth of public and private sector investment.
The PM also unveiled that the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission will be merged to create a “much tougher and streamlined competition regime”.
An investment of £69 million was revealed to encourage private sector investment in offshore wind projects.
Responding to the PM’s speech, CBI director general, Richard Lambert, said: “There was a welcome emphasis on the need to re-boot the country’s infrastructure, with a coherent vision of what needs to be done over the next five years to secure economic growth.”