Chancellor George Osborne, pictured, should use his autumn statement to plough £1.5bn into the economy and kick-start growth, the main trade body for business said yesterday.
John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), wants to divert some unspent cash from a government department and the proceeds of the forthcoming auction of mobile phone spectrum, which may raise up to £5bn, into a series of schemes that can help struggling firms, especially small enterprises.
The measures include £140m to cap the increase on high street business rates at 2 per cent and bigger investment allowances for small companies at a cost of £330m.
To stimulate overseas sales – one of the areas the Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, pinned his hopes on as he warned this week that Britain faces falling into a triple-dip recession – the CBI is calling for a one-off £500m for direct export finance.
Mr Cridland is also backing plans to scrap stamp duty on Alternative Investment Market-listed shares at a cost of £72m and to give local authorities £200m to improve roads as business confidence flatlines.
"We thought 2012 would be better; now we are saying 2013 will be better," he said.
Mr Cridland warned the Government that it must get next week's Energy Bill right if business is to be convinced of the merits of investing in new nuclear and renewable projects.