Slowing growth is the biggest threat to fiscal credibility: EEF

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The Independent Online

The biggest threat to Britain's fiscal credibility is not its national debt but its growth prospects, a major manufacturing body warns today.

Britain must address the "growth deficit" by combining immediate measures to kickstart the economy with a longer term plan of reform to sustain growth and attract investment, according to the EEF.

Terry Scuoler, EEF's chief executive, said: "This autumn, the Government must gets its growth review back on track. Manufacturers are looking to invest but they need to see the government take the right decisions... timely and targeted measures are required now to boost investment and growth."

Mr Scuoler called on the Government to reduce unemployment regulation and the cost of fighting climate change, as well as boosting competition in the banking sector. "Last year, the biggest threat to growth came from our fiscal deficit. Today the biggest threat to reducing that deficit comes from weak growth. Failure to act now will only make the future challenges even bigger and risk undermining our hard- won fiscal credibility."

Among other things, Mr Scuoler is calling for measures making it easier for customers to switch bank accounts as well as a compensation package to reduce the financial burden of climate change policies on energy-intensive industries.