One of the country’s leading business organisation has warned that political uncertainty surrounding May’s General Election must not get in the way of the economic recovery.
With the election too close to call and neither of the main parties expected to win an outright majority, the CBI is warning that there must be a clear plan delivered by the next Government to keep economic growth on track and create opportunities for all.
In Best Foot Forward: the business plan for the first 100 days, the organisation is urging politicians to focus on pro-enterprise measures and to take steps to get on top of the country’s finances.
Director general John Cridland said: “Whether we have a majority, minority or coalition Government, we ask those involved to ensure that the period of post-election uncertainty is kept to a minimum. We cannot afford a power vacuum that delays urgent policy decisions and unsettles potential investors, so any new Cabinet must get down to business as soon as possible.
“But if horse-trading is required to form a new Government, politicians must not duck the tough questions just to reach agreement and risk undermining the recovery before the ink has dried.
“Much remains to be done to secure the UK’s economic future and business wants to see a confident, new administration getting into its stride by taking action on the key priorities, including staying on top of the public finances, meeting the urgent demand for new homes and making progress on EU reform.
“For any incoming Government to make its mark it needs clear delivery milestones in its first 100 days. Politicians tend to focus on the next big idea or initiative but business will judge success on the delivery.
“The ‘what’ is interesting but the ‘how’ you can deliver and make a difference is what really counts, even if sometimes that means sticking with what’s already working.”
The CBI report calls on the new Government to start a comprehensive spending view to make essential savings and continue public service reform.
But it also wants measures on reform of business tax, clarity over the future of airports in the UK, reducing red tape and a review of secondary education.
Katja Hall, CBI deputy director general said: “The new Government must be honest about the challenges that still lie ahead and ensure politics does not knock growth off-track.
“The decision on expanding aviation capacity cannot wait another five years, so the new Government should commit to backing the final proposals from the Davies Commission.
“An independent commission could weave its way through the usual planning gridlock and set the wheels in motion on big projects that can deliver genuine 21st century infrastructure in the UK.
“Referendum or no referendum, politicians must set out a constructive plan to deliver change in Brussels, to get much of the continent back on its feet by securing growth on our doorstep in our largest export market.”