Business manifesto

CBI wants government investment plan within 100 days

Rain Newton-Smith: firms can see some bright spots

The defining challenge for the new Government’s first 100 days will be to develop a credible plan to attract investment through the tax system, says the CBI. 

As public spending is squeezed and monetary policy is likely to remain tight, growth across the next Parliament will come from the private sector, the organisation says in its business manifesto.

It wants the next government to unlock the power of the UK regions, aligning UK industrial and trade strategy with the transformative role of mayors.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief executive, said: “The UK economy has spent the last five years buffeted by a series of ‘one-off’ shocks – from the aftermath of Brexit, to Covid, to global conflict and the subsequent energy crisis.

“As a result, our economy has understandably focused more on shock absorption than on boosting growth.  

“Firms can now see some bright spots emerging in the UK economy. But the challenges are persistent: sluggish productivity growth, underperforming business investment compared to our international counterparts, and ongoing labour and skills shortages.  .  

“Top of the in-tray should be sharpening the investor pitch for ‘Brand Britain’ – ensuring we are at the very top of the league table when it comes to investment.

“At the same time, a focus on building momentum behind the ‘big three’ enablers across tax, planning and the labour market within the first 100 days can give firms a clear flightpath for growth.”

UK total retail sales increased by 0.7% year on year in May, against a growth of 3.9% in May 2023 according to the British Retail Consortium.

This was above the 3-month average growth of 0.3% and below the 12-month average growth of 2.0%.

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