Brown urges more output from industry

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Indy Politics

Chancellor Gordon Brown put pressure on industry today by urging an increase in productivity levels.

Chancellor Gordon Brown put pressure on industry today by urging an increase in productivity levels.

Mr Brown said employers and unions must work together if the country is to achieve faster economic growth without stoking inflation.

He has written to them asking them to the Confederation of British Industry and the TUC asking them to co-operate.

His plan includes the creation of working groups to address such issues as skills shortages and workplace training; long-term under-investment in industry; the spread of technology; industrial relations and the standard of British management.

The Chancellor believes these measures will to close the "productivity gap" with the UK's main industrial rivals.

Improving productivity is expected to be one of the key themes of his Pre-Budget Report which he is due to make soon after the House of Commons returns next week.

He has asked the two sides of industry to come forward with proposals in time for inclusion in his next Budget in March.

In his letter to the CBI and TUC, Mr Brown said: "This is a moment of opportunity. The challenge for our country - to seize it - is now underway."

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