Longworth: UK government should make ‘bold’ decisions

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Confidence can return to UK industry with the help of growth being stimulated by measures such as a massive infrastructure programme, according to the head of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

John Longworth will urge the UK government to make “bold” decisions on its spending priorities as he tells the BCC’s annual conference in London today that ministers should tackle a long-term “structural fault” in business finance.

“We have to ask ourselves in the UK, do we have the creativity, the talent, the enterprise and the capacity for sheer hard work to build and drive the UK economy? And I say – you are darn right we do.

“I visit hundreds of chamber businesses every year and it strikes me that they can do anything they set their minds to, and can trade the world with the best. Confidence is the key, confidence and an enterprise-friendly environment,” the director general will say.

“We, in the chamber network, believe that these can be created by stimulating growth through a massive infrastructure development programme and by addressing a long term structural fault in UK business finance, which has been brought into sharp focus by the credit crunch.

“That doesn’t mean deviating from deficit reduction – at least not yet. It does mean bold decision-making and a determination to actually deliver – on a large scale, and soon. Scale, delivery and urgency are the key.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Labour leader Ed Miliband were among the speakers due to appear at the conference.