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Business tells coalition: “It’s time to deliver”

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 08, 2013

By ADRIAN JENKINS

BUSINESS BREAKFAST: Speaker and busines expert Mark Tonks, chamber president Fred Pritchard, and Marilyn Castree and Chris Plant, of South Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.

BUSINESS BREAKFAST: Speaker and busines expert Mark Tonks, chamber president Fred Pritchard, and Marilyn Castree and Chris Plant, of South Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.

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THE jury is still out on the Government’s efforts to promote business recovery and growth in the UK, a Burton commerce chief has claimed.

Commenting on the coalition’s mid-term review, Chris Plant, spokesman for Burton and District Chamber of Commerce, said the Tory-Lib Dem alliance had made important commitments but it was now time to deliver them.

“When the coalition was formed in 2010, we said it would be judged on its efforts to promote business recovery and growth across the UK,” he said.

“Half-way through the Government’s term, the jury is still out.

“Ministers have made some important commitments which have been welcomed by companies across the UK.

“In business, though, it’s not the commitments you make but what you actually deliver on the ground.

“The focus must now shift to delivery if the Government is to earn the long-term trust and respect of businesses across the whole economy.”

Outlining ‘bold measures’ he claimed should be taken by the Coalition, Mr Plant said it should create a business bank capable of addressing ‘the long-term structural failure’ in UK business finance.

Ministers, meanwhile, should redouble their efforts to improve Britain’s ‘crumbling infrastructure’ by removing the political risk preventing private investment, he said.

The chamber spokesman said the coalition had to ensure planning reforms ‘bit’ on the ground and that education and training systems ‘delivered work-ready school leavers’.

Mr Plant said skills training needed to be more responsive to employers’ needs and called for a halt to new regulations from Westminster and Brussels.

Trade promotion budgets also needed to be expanded and an export voucher scheme established to help firms exploit opportunities overseas, he said.

Mr Plant said the policy changes were ‘not just a temporary fix’ to try to get the economy back on track, but ‘critical to the long-term, sustainable growth the UK needed to remain competitive and a key global player’.

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