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Britain needs "all-action Budget"

CBI calls on government to deliver a Budget that boosts exports, investment and jobs

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The government should focus on medium-sized businesses in this month’s Budget to boost economic growth and job creation, the UK’s largest business group said on Monday.

The Confederation of British Industry urged the government to focus on boosting export performance, domestic investment spending, and removing barriers for fast growing companies.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “We need an all-action Budget which boosts exports, investment and jobs.

“The Budget should create the framework for a Mittelstand of mid-cap businesses by ensuring they can access the capital they need to expand at home and abroad.

Its proposals include creating a new corporate bond market for mid-caps to increase the supply of capital and restore the incentive of the Carbon Reduction Commitment to help companies become more energy efficient.

The government has already pledged to use its 23 March Budget to support growth, an issue that has become more urgent after data showed the economy lurched into reverse gear at the end of 2010.

Speaking to the Conservative Party spring conference in Cardiff this weekend, chancellor George Osborne said his 23 March Budget would be "unashamedly pro-growth, pro-enterprise and pro-aspiration".

The CBI said access to capital could be done by providing guarantees to portfolios of securitised debt and by engaging with market participants to establish private placement and bond documentation standards.

Although the CBI said growth should be the government's top priority, it endorsed its aggressive approach to deficit reduction.

"The government is rightly not allowing itself to be blown off course," Cridland said.

The coalition government announced plans last year to slash public spending in order to wipe out a record budget deficit over the next four years.

The Labour Party says the government is cutting too fast and risks plunging the country back into recession.

The CBI also urged Osborne to address taxation issues, including the 50p personal tax rate and the narrow definition of business assets under capital gains tax.


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