What business really hopes George Osborne will announce today

We asked some of Britain's best-known business leaders what the Chancellor should say in his Autumn Statement: here's their verdict

John Cridland, Director-general, Confederation of British Industry

"The Chancellor can't take risks with our hard-won market confidence. We even saw British bond yields below those on German debt last week. But there have been encouraging signs of bold Government thinking. There never was a better time for "Plan A plus" [The CBI's proposals to attract £200bn of private sector investment into UK infrastructure over the next five years].

"The CBI wants to unlock private sector investment to kick-start growth. We want to get shovels in the ground, by using road-tolling schemes to attract private investment, and bringing forward planned road projects to improve congestion and create new jobs."

Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief executive, WPP

"Basically, the Chancellor needs to outline a growth strategy that supports hard and soft infrastructure, as well as technology, education, immigration and taxation. He will also have to balance that with the cost containment in the first 18 months which has already established external confidence."

Dalton Philips, Chief executive, Morrisons

"We're looking for common sense. A huge hike in business rates, particularly when based on just one month's retail price inflation growth, which in September was the highest for over 20 years, would at this point in the economic cycle be a kick in the teeth for retail when what we need is a shot in the arm.

"We're also looking for measures that set out a clear path to growth. We're particularly concerned about unemployment, especially for young people. We'd like to see really decisive action, for example through further support for apprenticeships which provide a great starting point from which people can build a long term career in retail. Companies such as Morrisons are investing in apprenticeships because we recognise the role they play in helping large numbers of young people gain the qualifications, skills and confidence to fulfil their potential. The right action for young people and the right action for the high street is what we need."

John Maltby, Group commercial banking director, Lloyd Banking Group

"If there is one critical issue for the Chancellor to address it is business confidence. The credit easing plans designed to target new funding at small and medium sized businesses should be welcomed. But the success of these measures will be determined by the extent to which they encourage businesses to borrow and invest for growth. With that in mind, I'm hoping for a set of measures which together help to stimulate demand. The anticipated boost to infrastructure spending could have an immediate impact, as contracts become available to small and medium sized firms. And in the longer term, the resulting improvements in services and communications should also support competitiveness."

Steve Bateman, Director of corporate, commercial and business banking, Santander

"The Chancellor needs to inspire confidence while remaining realistic about the challenges ahead. He needs to find some way to inject additional demand on a sustained basis and in a manner that does not put at risk policy credibility and the low interest rates at which the government is able to borrow.

"One idea would be targeted infrastructure spending, starting with what in the US are known as 'shovel ready' projects, to make business easier. To encourage business growth this could be combined with targeted tax measures to boost export capacity and encourage investment in equity over debt. However we do have to recognise that that this would be a gradual process."

Stephen Robertson, Director general, British Retail Consortium

"Restoring customers' confidence to spend and rebuilding retailers' appetite to invest and resume job creation must be the Chancellor's first concerns today. With consumer spending now in recession, tax increases due to increase the squeeze on household budgets, and retail employment now falling, he needs urgently to deliver a positive agenda for growth by holding back the costs that are under his control. Retailers and customers need action on Business Rates and fuel costs. Under current convention, April's Business Rates increase is determined by the previous September's retail price inflation figure. That would mean a massive 5.6 per cent business rates increase next April on top of a 4.6 per cent increase this year."

Doug Richard, School for Startups founder, former Dragons' Den investor

"It won't be in there but what I would have hoped for was a specific tax relief targeted at increasing the amount of capital that flows into newly started or young businesses. It's been shown that almost all new jobs and productivity growth come from young, entrepreneurial businesses and one of the biggest obstacles these businesses have is the absence of available seed stage capital. What needs to be done is something very radical – an opening for a direct tax credit on an annual basis for money invested into a new private retail business. This would be much better for the business because the money wouldn't have to go into the Government and out again and it puts the money in the exact place where economic growth happens. I have a good deal of time for what the Government is trying to do but they are beset by conflicting tensions. This is something that actually moves economies but it doesn't make headlines."

Theo Paphitis, Owner, Ryman

"What we don't need tomorrow is political window dressing. We need real help for small businesses, which account for about 50 per cent of UK Plc [GDP]. Small businesses need more flexibility in the way they employ people. Employment is the key thing. You have to keep people in work and make them feel confident about their jobs. If people are worried about their jobs they don't spend – it's a vicious cycle.

"Like it or not, the British economy is a consumer economy. For retailers, business rates are ridiculously high at the moment and are killing the high street. The high street is under attack from the supermarkets, shopping centres and e-commerce. The butcher, baker and candle stick maker are now in the supermarkets. For the high street, it is ludicrous they are expanding parking restrictions, not just in Westminster, but in many towns."

Clive Dix, Chief executive, Convergence Pharmaceuticals

"Securing the financial environment for small and medium sized biotech companies is essential. As an industry we would like to see the Chancellor confirm two of the measures the Treasury consulted on this year: the delivery of the Patent Box and the extensions of R&D tax credits by removing the PAYE cap. We also hope the Chancellor does not change the definition for R&D tax credit eligibility from 'going concern' status to one of 'company in difficulty' as this would be devastating for research intensive life sciences companies in the UK.

"Looking at a wider picture of innovative companies in the UK, we would like to see the Chancellor introduce a scheme similar to the French 'Citizen's Innovation Fund'. The scheme would be targeted at mid-net worth individuals and allow up to £15,000 per person per annum to be invested, tax-free, in funds which are exclusively targeted at innovative SMEs."

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
Researchers have said it could take only two questions to identify a problem with alcohol
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) - Hertfordshire/Middlesex

£300 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) Watford...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style