Autumn Statement  

CBI reveals demands for the Autumn Statement

CBI reveals demands for the Autumn Statement

The Confederation of British Industry has called on Philip Hammond to get the British economy “firing on all cylinders” in his Autumn Statement.

In its submission for the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s upcoming Autumn Statement, the CBI has proposed a series of measures to boost the UK economy amid the current uncertainty.

It said there has “rarely” been a more important Autumn Statement.

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Among its proposals are a public commitment to target research and development spending of 3 per cent of GDP, delivery of more than £425bn of infrastructure investment and using business rates to incentives productive investment.

The CBI also proposed addressing the issues the low interest rate environment creates for defined benefit pension schemes, saying more flexibility is needed to ease the extent to which cash is diverted to deficits from investing in jobs and company growth.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, said: “The Chancellor should capitalise on the UK’s core strengths, setting out a pro-enterprise agenda that instils confidence and kick starts investment.

“With huge variations in productivity between different parts of the country, the top priority must be to set out a programme that will get our regions firing on all cylinders and supports businesses to innovate, invest and create jobs in the years ahead.”

The CBI said its proposals would carry a cost of around £11.5bn in 2017/18 (0.6 per cent of GDP), falling to around £7bn by 2020/21 (0.3 per cent of GDP).

It said there should be a more flexible approach over achieving a fiscal surplus by the end of this parliament.

The CBI also recommended boosting the supply and affordability of housing by increasing building, increasing public investment from 1.7 per cent of GDP to 2 per cent and providing 15 hours of free universal childcare to all children from the age of one to four.

Earlier this month Hargreaves Lansdown wrote to HM Treasury suggesting a programme of pension and Isa simplification for next month's Autumn Statement.