British businesses will lead UK economic recovery but a Government confidence boost is needed, BCC says

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says it is still backing Government plans to cut the nation's deficit.

But it wants to see more Government action to help businesses and generate jobs, and it is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to introduce a 100 million voucher scheme to boost growth and employment.

It says the scheme could help firms grow and create new jobs by providing 20,000 businesses with up to 5,000 each to help them through the planning system and get hold of financial advice.

Meanwhile, the BCC, which represents over 104,000 businesses, employing more than five million people, is also proposing an export voucher scheme to help firms expand into new overseas markets.

Next month the Chancellor is expected to announce in his autumn statement that the Government will not, as hoped, be able to cut debt as a share of gross domestic product by 2015/16.

BCC director general John Longworth said business growth, house and infrastructure building, and international commerce need to be supported through resources being re-prioritised.

He said: "Our message to the Chancellor is clear. Business will lead Britain's economic recovery but needs targeted support and a confidence boost from Government."

The BCC, which covers 52 UK chambers of commerce, also wants a 100 million "unblocking fund" to enable stalled private sector house-building schemes to go ahead.

The fund would help ensure the schemes had the infrastructure they needed to go forward.

Meanwhile, it wants 100 million worth of Government investment to support British exporters in more than a dozen key global markets - and to make sure businesses are aware of new trading opportunities by installing trade advisers abroad.

Other proposals mooted by the BCC include adding 100,000 houses to the Homes and Communities Agency's building target while giving firms an incentive to commit themselves to big capital investments.

Earlier this year the BCC said that to help the struggling economy out of the double-dip recession politicians should "get some political backbone and show leadership".

Copyright Press Association 2012