In Budget submissions ahead of George Osborne’s announcement next week, all three groups said that the deficit reduction should be a priority, but that more money needs to spent on construction, and mainly in housing.
The CBI said the government should spend £1.25bn building 50,000 new homes, and reckons that such a scheme would create 75,000 new jobs in the ailing constriction sector. It also recommended refurbishment subsidies for older houses worth £500m, saying this would generate an additional 80,000 jobs.
The BCC voiced concerns about putting austerity above all else. It said: ‘Although the BCC continues to support deficit reduction, a point may come soon where [it] becomes impossible in the absence of sustained growth.
‘The government may have to consider major cuts in business taxation and other radical measures, such as massive infrastructure pump-priming, if growth does not improve.’
The CBI also called for the 2.6% rise in business rates, which is planned for April, should be cancelled and that they should be frozen for three years.
Not many in business will disagree, we suspect.