CBI says the business vote is up for grabs

The CBI has urged all political parties to champion its “pro-growth, pro-jobs” cause in the run-up to the next general election.

The employers group has published its Business Agenda. This lays down the action needed to maintain the long-term competitiveness of UK plc, and sets out the top business priorities for all parties to address during their campaigns.

Director-general Digby Jones said: “I want the voice of business to be at the heart of the 2005 general election. Business is the only wealth creator in our society. UK jobs depend on business succeeding in the UK.

“The government of the day must provide the support and conditions firms need to succeed.

“The business vote is up for grabs and deserves to be fought for. Each political party should pursue a pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-business agenda,” Jones said.

The CBI Business Agenda calls on the next government to:

  • commit at least £300bn of public and private investment in UK transport over the next decade
  • ensure that 2.5% of GDP is spent on research and development by 2014
  • invest in improving the flawed basic skills of 15 million adults.

Jones said: “Everyone in the country must improve his or her skills-base if we are to continue successfully our transition to a value-added economy. The next government must put this task at the heart of its policy. Very few things are as important if we are to improve the standard of living for everyone.”

The CBI recognises that one of the biggest challenges facing the next government will be tackling the pensions crisis and it calls for politicians to strengthen tax reliefs on private pensions – especially for the young and lower paid – and reduce regulatory burdens on occupational schemes.


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