Outgoing CBI head Richard Lambert has launched an uncompromising but constructive assault on the government’s growth strategy, or lack of it, the Spectator reports this week. He said:
“The government is…talking about growth in an enthusiastic and thoughtful way… But it’s failed so far to articulate in big picture terms its vision of what
“What I feel is that a number of their initiatives – I’m thinking of the immigration cap, I’m thinking about their move on the default retirement age, about the carbon reduction commitment – have actually made it harder for companies, or less likely for companies to employ people. And what we want, actually, is a sense of direction, a sense of ambition.”
It’s a common refrain. The Conservatives campaigned on the deregulation of small businesses at the last election; they are yet to deliver, something for which they are being criticised. In fact, several business bodies lament the onset of yet more regulation. The Equality Act, the proposed paternity leave changes and the immigration cap have all contributed to the steady grip of pressure on the government. And the coalition’s apparent inability to increase mortgage lending is not altering the perception or stimulating the economy.
There is worse news to come – as is the theme of 2011. Tomorrow’s growth forecast is expected to make grim reading and there is no sign that inflation will relax yet. The small businesses on which recovery depends are being hampered by the effects of Quantitative Easing, a VAT rise, increased national insurance and a sense of wary unease. Ed Balls lurks in the lee of each poor statistic, calculating that he will make a flying start against George Osborne if voters worry about inflation and growth but ignoring the national debt. Osborne will have to return fire with something more potent than a history in which he was complicit. Source: Spectator.co.uk
Mr Lambert joins Government Minister Vince Cable, London Mayor Boris Johnson and a host of business leaders all warning against the damaging effects of a cap on immigration.
Earlier this week Immigration Matters reported that the British Medical Association, has warned the cap on non-EU migrant workers – due to come into effect permanently from this April – will “undoubtedly” create skills shortages which would likely lead to operations being cancelled and increased waiting times.
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