GOVERNMENT MUST DELIVER ON ITS PROMISES
November 7 2012.

Today (Wednesday) is the halfway point of the coalition government's five year term. The BCC has assessed the government's progress so far, and although there have been some positive achievements, there is still a long way to go if we are to see a lasting recovery in the UK.

Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "When the coalition government was formed in 2010, we said it would be judged on what it delivered to promote business recovery across the UK. Two and a half years on, there have been some commendable achievements, such as taking difficult decisions on reducing the deficit, which the BCC has always said should be a top priority for government. And efforts to reduce the regulatory burden that so many UK companies say prevents them from focusing on business growth have also delivered some progress.

"But despite positive steps in some areas, the government still has more work to do over the coming months if we are to see a real improvement in the UK's long-term growth prospects. Ministers must listen to calls from businesses to help them get the finance they need, and provide support to help them find new international markets for their products and services. Action needs to be taken immediately if we are to see the export-led recovery the government has been calling for, and investment in the UK's crumbling infrastructure would allow businesses to transport their goods and people around the world. The government and the Bank of England should use their balance sheets, both for targeted investment and for securitization, at a time when Britain has both market credibility and rock-bottom borrowing costs, or we will continue to fall behind our global competitors.

"It's fair to say the government has been high on promises, but so far, low on delivery. In the Autumn Statement next month, we need to see bold leadership that will give businesses confidence to invest, create jobs and grow their companies which will in turn drive the economic recovery."