Government needs North East businesses to deliver growth

NECC Budget submission

THE Government needs to put North East business success at the heart of its forthcoming Budget statement, according to the North East Chamber of Commerce.

 NECC has used its submission to the Treasury to stress that stimulating exporting, employment and investment in carbon reduction schemes will drive the North East economy to fresh heights and should be at the core of Mr Osborne’s statement.

 The Government wants to rebalance economic performance across the UK and sees a beefed up manufacturing sector, increased trade globally and a growth in low carbon industries as key ways to boost the economy.  However, Government policy to date has not delivered sufficient specific measures which will enable these aims to be achieved.

 Alongside the core economic aims, the Government needs to see the private sector grow sharply to soften the impact of swingeing public sector cuts.

 The North East has above average public sector/private sector split leaving it more exposed to the purse tightening. However, it also has a private sector that is more suited to the Government’s planned economic recovery with a stronger manufacturing sector, a rich pedigree of global trade and growing expertise in low carbon technologies and services.

 Martyn Pellew, president of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “The time for rhetoric has long passed us by. This has to be a budget of action, a budget of economic stimulation, a budget that will deliver the platform that will enable businesses to grow faster and create the wealth and jobs the country desperately needs. The North East offers a platform for the Government to achieve its aims and has the capacity to play a much more influential role in the growth of UK plc but it needs the right stimulus to achieve it.”

 NECC’s submission sets out clear and decisive action points to enable North East businesses to deliver a greater return for UK plc:

 Stimulating exporting to unlock genuine wealth creation. This requires enhanced incentives and greater certainty for capital investment; financial backing and targeted support for exporters; and, reform of transport taxes to encourage trade links to North East England.

 Stimulating employment to prevent a ‘jobless recovery’. This requires reduced regulation; bold tax incentives for employment and training; and, specific investment in re-training former public sector workers for jobs in business.

 Stimulating investment in carbon reduction schemes to develop a green 21st century economy. This requires certainty and longevity to low carbon incentive schemes; and, simplified and strengthened tax relief for carbon reducing investment.

 In addition, he said that better connectivity and access to finance, alongside an increase in the availability of skilled labour would all support the North East to play a fuller role in the growth of the UK economy.

 Mr Pellew added: “The North East has traditionally lagged behind other parts of the country both in terms of jobs and wealth. NECC’s Budget submission sets out measures which we believe will support North East companies to grow, increase employment and reduce the need for high levels of public spending to address symptoms of economic under-performance.”

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