Be cautious with Budget plans, CBI tells Brown

The
CBI has urged the Chancellor Gordon Brown to produce a cautious and vigilant
pre-Budget plan in response to increasing economic uncertainty.

It
wants the Government to stick with current plans for public spending to
strengthen the economic infrastructure. There is no room for major new spending
initiatives or for raising business taxes, which have increased by £29bn since
1997, claims the CBI.

The
Government should press ahead with targeted tax measures designed to encourage
enterprise and close the productivity gap between the UK and other countries.

Digby
Jones, director-general of the CBI, said, "The Chancellor needs to be
cautious and vigilant. Now is not the time to pull surprise spending plans out
of the hat. Nor is it time to increase government-imposed costs on business,
either in the form of new taxes or red tape.

"For
the longer term, it is crucial that Brown pushes ahead with productivity
enhancing tax credits. But if the downturn gets much worse then many firms will
be focusing on survival rather than growth. The Chancellor should be ready to
help by bringing down costs." 

By Mike Broad

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