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News - 7 May 2005

New labour government needs courage

The CBI has called for the newly elected Labour Government to make courageous decisions, despite a heavily reduced majority - in the interests of the economy and the country.

CBI Director-General, Sir Digby Jones, said, "Despite its heavily reduced majority, we need this Government to be courageous in its decisions on the big issues facing everyone in this country.

"Reforming the public sector to make it more efficient will require real political will, but it is vital if we are to secure quality public services across the country and, at the same time, keep the tax burden down.

"We have reached a crossroads for Britain's reputation as a preferred location for multinational companies. If the business tax burden in this country is not kept under control and reduced over the medium term, some of those companies will find a more welcoming environment in which to create wealth and jobs.

"We also need clear leadership when it comes to delivering European Union reform, and the events of the last twenty-four hours must not deter our political leaders from that."

Meanwhile the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written to the Prime Minister to urge him not to waste any time in delivering on Labour's key commitments to small businesses.

The letter, written by Carol Undy, underlined the need for speedy implementation of key manifesto pledges and argued that the UK's 4 million enterprises deserve a government spokesman at Minister of State level within the DTI.

She also wrote, "You pledged to simplify family friendly laws; promote better regulations in the EU; improve access to procurement; invest in roads and raise the standard of service and reliability of railways.

"We also believe you have a mandate to cut the number of inspectorates and raise the quality of apprenticeships and vocational education.

"My members were also pleased to note that Labour looks forward to action from the banking industry to remove delays in processing cheques and other payments and if necessary will legislate to ensure this early in the next Parliament.

She also warned against increasing taxes. "Increases in national insurance contributions, which are little more than a tax on jobs, must be avoided at all costs this time around," she said.

Read related items on:
Federation of Small Businesses
Government, Central
Jones, Digby
Undy, Carol

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