Ed Balls speech: concrete measures required to maintain credibility with business.Commenting on the Labour Party Conference speech by the Shadow Chancellor, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:
"Ed Balls identified many issues of concern to business in his conference speech, including infrastructure and growth finance. Yet Labour's policy alternatives on the key long-term economic issues remain embryonic at best. Many policy reviews have been undertaken, but Labour's renewed credibility with business rests on swiftly setting out concrete and clear measures on the key issues facing companies across the UK. And Labour must address worrying hints that they are starting to lose their nerve on transformative investment projects, including HS2, in favour of current spending.
"I can't help but feel that many speeches during the party conference season so far are missing the relentless focus on growth that is still sorely needed. Britain's political class is already focusing more on electioneering, spending commitments and populist rhetoric than on transforming the UK economy from good to great. New tax burdens are being proposed to fund giveaways at a time when we need to be focusing on growing the overall size of our economy, not simply carving up what's already there.
"Balls made several encouraging commitments, such as new funding to help capitalise a British Business Bank and a pledge to create an independent infrastructure commission. These are important steps in the right direction that all parties could build on."