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Coalition’s first 90 days ‘has been encouraging’, says Northamptonshire Chamber

Posted: 19/08/10 by Northamptonshire Chamber

In a review of the Coalition Government’s first 90 days in power, Northamptonshire Chamber has argued that there have been a number of positive and encouraging decisions, but there are still areas requiring urgent action before the end of the year.

Ahead of May’s General Election, as part of the national Chambers of Commerce network, which represents 100,000 companies across Britain, the Chamber set the incoming administration a number of clear policy challenges – a prescription to return our economy onto a sound and sustainable footing.

The Government’s actions on each of the proposals in the BCC’s ’90-day plan’ has been given a progress assessment, with three ticks indicating progress that has either ‘met or exceeded business expectations’. A maximum of three ticks were achieved in three areas, which included:

  • Publish a credible plan to reduce the budget deficit and restore confidence
  • Freeze the public sector wage bill and reform public pensions
  • Begin a systematic review of existing regulation affecting employers

To see a record of development pertinent to Northamptonshire, please click here

Commenting, Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Chamber, said:

“This review shows real, balanced progress against a good number of our core objectives, so the Coalition’s overall progress after 90 days has been encouraging. Early action on deficit reduction and burdensome employment regulation has been strongly welcomed by local businesses – and many of the measures in the Chancellor’s emergency Budget struck the right balance.

“However, business wants to see more progress in areas such as international trade and the reform of the UK’s planning system. While the Prime Minister has led a trade mission to India, we have not yet seen the appointment of a dedicated trade minister, nor a focused strategy for a strong export economy – something that the Chamber is extremely keen to see progress on. Many of the Coalition’s proposals on planning have also been disappointing, including the decision to abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

“There are still a good deal of unknowns about how local economic development will be driven in the future, as we await the publication of a white paper on Local Enterprise Partnerships. As such, business is still unclear about how local jobs growth, regeneration and infrastructure will be led.

“Our challenge to the Government is to build on the good progress it has made over its first 90 days, and to look again at areas where it can do more to enable wealth-generating businesses to drive a lasting recovery.”

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