Firms backing Government’s handling of deficit reduction

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ALMOST two thirds of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire businesses believe that the Government is right to keep pressing ahead with its deficit reduction programme, with only 16% saying that it should abandon its plans.

However there are also calls for Chancellor George Osborne to promote growth in his Autumn Statement tomorrow. The priorities for businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire include investment in local infrastructure projects, youth employment incentives, a cut in VAT and scrapping employment red tape.

Early indications from a survey of local firms* by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce found that 58% of respondents believe that infrastructure investment should be the Government’s top priority in order to stimulate the economy. Reducing employment legislation was second – a measure backed by 55% of businesses, whilst 50% called for a cut in VAT and 48% called for the introduction of more youth employment initiatives.

Commenting ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber continues to support the way in which the Government has managed to sustain financial stability in the UK, unlike other markets in the Eurozone, where instability and high interest rates have proved to be extremely damaging.

“The deficit reduction programme is vital to stabilising public finances and boosting business confidence. That said, in order to kick-start economic growth and encourage job creation, the Government must introduce more growth-enhancing policies in the Autumn Statement in a number of key areas**.

“Whilst the Chamber welcomes recent announcements on red tape, housing and infrastructure funding and incentives to get more young people into work, we await further details on these with interest.

“The Coalition has yet to display enough urgency on tackling some of the issues facing businesses. Whilst Ministers have identified many of the right policies, they must now be delivered as a matter of priority.”