In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), the British Chambers of Commerce has called on the government to prioritise investment that will act as a catalyst for further investment from the private sector.

At a time when reduced public-sector demand will inevitably affect the private sector's ability to create wealth and jobs, the BCC believes it is all the more critical for Government investment to be used to remove barriers to private sector growth.

 

Therefore the BCC is urging the Government to use the CSR to apply pro-growth policies, focusing on:

 

spending that delivers a strong and competitive UK business environment 
spending that directly supports enterprise growth
spending that supports UK companies seeking to develop export markets and trade globally 
 

David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

 

"Businesses recognise the restraints that the Government is operating under, but by focusing on a pro-growth agenda the CSR can act as a catalyst for private sector investment and growth.

 

"The Government should use this as an opportunity to target funding on particular projects that the business community say will stimulate further private sector activity. This means specific transport upgrades, investment in our digital infrastructure, enhancement to the planning process and an increase in the budget for trade promotion."

 

Among the priorities the BCC have identified for the three years that the CSR encompasses, are:

 

Starting work on 12 productivity-enhancing transport schemes*
Both simplifying and investing in the planning system
Investing in the digital network in some rural and hard-to-reach areas such as Worcestershire, Cumbria, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Skills funding to be refocused around meeting demand for skills from employers and the long-term needs of local economies. 
The creation of 'Opportunity Zones' that target specific parts of the Midlands and the North of England to attract new domestic and international investment.
Greater support for exporters, including a short-term export credit guarantee scheme and a refocussing of how UKTI measures its achievements away from the number of companies helped to a growth in sales an employment.