An industry group has urged the Government to use next month’s autumn statement to tackle the “deteriorating” economic outlook and “plummeting” business confidence.
The Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) said the Chancellor’s speech must include a programme of reform to boost business growth for the lifetime of this Parliament.
The report also called for a number of reforms to reduce the burden of taxes and regulation and make it easier for companies to find the finance and skills they need to grow their businesses.
The EEF made a number of suggestions, including reform of the research and development tax credit to make it more effective, extending the business growth fund, rethinking proposals on equal pay audits, employment tribunal fines, and keeping new proposals on parental leave and flexible working simple.
EEF Midlands Region Director, Richard Halstead, said: “This Autumn, the Government must get its Growth Review back on track. Manufacturers are looking to invest but they need to see Government take the right decisions on issues such as boosting competition in the banking sector, reducing employment regulation and addressing the cost of fighting climate change. They also need to hear how Government plans to transform the business environment by the end of this Parliament.
“But timely and targeted measures are required now to boost investment and growth. Last year, the biggest threat to growth came from our fiscal deficit. Today the biggest threat to reducing that deficit comes from weak growth. Failure to act now will only make the future challenges even bigger and risks undermining our hard-won fiscal credibility.”
Announcements on banking reform, securing the future for energy intensive sectors and the second phase of the growth review is expected from the Chancellor alongside the autumn statement on November 29, said the EEF.