Cautious welcome to coalition from business community
14 May 2010
Business groups gave a cautious welcome to the new coalition Government, calling for the new administration to offer immediate certainty to businesses so they can begin planning for the future.
The Confederation of British Industry describes the joint policy announcement as a "credible document which shows that the coalition Government is committed to tackling the major issues," according to CBI director-general Richard Lambert.
"There's no doubt this past week has been an anxious and worrying time for small business owners," said Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford. "Smaller firms urgently need some degree of certainty so they can begin to plan for the future."
As such, Orford welcomed the immediate announcement regarding raising the point at which a 1% increase on National Insurance contributions is active to the £20,800 salary threshold.
"Small businesses did not want this tax on jobs because clearly it would have been a major barrier to staff retention and job creation and would have hindered economic recovery," he said. "For the majority of employers it would have proved to be an unpopular and unworkable tax rise. Although not perfect, the new coalition Government's policy on NI is far better and provides a degree of certainty for business growth now and in the future."
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said business is looking for "lasting political settlement and, in particular, clarity on the shape of economic and employment policy that will help make decisions about staffing levels," according to its chief economic adviser Dr John Philpott.
"Everyone acknowledges the severity of the UK's fiscal crisis, but the jobs market challenge is equally serious," he said. "For jobs' sake, the Government must get to work without delay."