08/10/12

Commenting on George Osborne's speech at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"In what was essentially a political speech, Osborne was right to state that the public services, like businesses, should be judged by what they deliver not how much they spend or how many they employ. Osborne was right to acknowledge that the country must face up to the challenge of global competitiveness through enterprise, effort, aspiration and a real sense of urgency. We face a choice of becoming a ruritanian museum or a dynamic and prosperous economy, which could be uncomfortable for some in the Conservative Party.

"The Chancellor's announcement of a new form of business ownership, with individuals swapping greater employment flexibility for an equity stake in the company, could be a useful option for some new and fast-growing businesses. It is an innovative and imaginative proposal that deserves to be tried out, but it is unlikely to be a game-changer.

"His clear support for a British Business Bank and further investment in science will be viewed positively by companies, as will his resolve on deficit reduction. But business will want to see far more weight on the growth agenda in the coming months - to create a new model economy that's fit to compete globally and for the long term." 

Ends

Notes to editors:

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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