Business Responds To PM Speech On Economic RecoveryDame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General
“The economic impact of the global pandemic risks fracturing communities for a generation. Plans for a jobs-first recovery, underpinned by a restorative injection of infrastructure investment, could help limit the damage and set the UK on course to build back better.
“The Prime Minister’s commitment to upgrade and decarbonise our transport infrastructure, in all UK regions and nations, lays strong foundations. Upgrading and building new English schools, prisons and hospitals will mobilise the construction industry supporting millions of workers and job opportunities. And cutting red tape should help prioritise the building of widely available, truly affordable homes. Together with commitments on R&D and innovation, these are the first steps on the path to recovery.
“Foundations are there to be built on. More is needed to prevent the uneven scarring unemployment leaves on communities.
“Guaranteeing apprenticeships and in-work placements are a start. Details are needed now so providers are ready. Other ideas business would like to see include further wage support to protect jobs, a new jobs programme to create opportunities and more funding for future skills in high potential areas such as digital, low carbon and health.
“The reality is that longer-term plans will falter without continued help for firms still in desperate difficulty. Government intervention so far has saved countless jobs, yet anxious months for many still lie ahead. The focus on rescuing viable firms cannot slip while the UK looks to recovery, or earlier efforts could be wasted.”
BCC Director-General Adam Marshall
said: “The infrastructure delivery plans announced by the Prime Minister are welcome, but they must take shape on the ground swiftly to give a real confidence boost to businesses and communities.
“The government must go even further over the coming days to rekindle business and consumer confidence, as part of a wider roadmap to economic recovery. This is a critical moment, and business communities need this government to be bolder than any previous government has ever been.
“In his first inaugural speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘We must act, and act quickly’. The same holds true in Britain today.”