British budget must have 'relentless focus' on growth: CBI

7th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The British government's annual budget, due in just over two weeks, must have a "relentless focus" on economic growth and job creation, the Confederation of British Industry said on Monday.

The nation's biggest employers' organisation said it had written to finance minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, ahead of his annual budget due March 23, to request measures that help strengthen the recovery.

"The CBI today (Monday) called on the chancellor to focus his March budget on areas that do most to boost economic growth and job creation," it said in a statement.

The powerful lobby group "is calling on the government to focus on three critical areas: boosting export performance, unleashing domestic investment spending, and removing barriers for high-growth firms".

The CBI represents about 240,000 companies, which together employ about one third of the workforce in the private sector.

"This budget must demonstrate a relentless focus on growth to help get the UK working again. We need an all-action budget which boosts exports, investment and jobs," added new CBI Director-General John Cridland.

The CBI also repeated its backing for the British coalition government's plans to slash public expenditure.

"The government has been right to stay the course on its fiscal consolidation plans to bring the current budget deficit back to balance by 2015," said chief economic adviser Ian McCafferty.

"As spending cuts put household spending under ever greater pressure, the budget must create the right conditions for businesses to invest and grow."

He added that the government's UK Trade and Industry (UKTI) department would play a "crucial" role in helping lift exports.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, is seeking to slash a record public deficit which it inherited from the previous Labour government.

© 2011 AFP

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