Letter: Confidence must be given boost : A selection of readers' letters from the overwhelming response to our 10-point plan for recovery

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The Independent Online
Sir: In addition to a long-term, steady and stable industrial and economic strategy, such as you suggest in your manifesto for recovery, there is a clear need to build up business confidence immediately to bring the economy out of its present doldrums. We believe that there are several initiatives the Government can take in order to boost business confidence.

The most immediate would be to support exporters. The devaluation of the pound has provided our exporters with a competitive advantage which must be seized, and government support for trade missions, export market research and export credit guarantees is essential at this time.

In addition, the business community would welcome a number of key actions:

Vital capital expenditure projects must be maintained in the 1993/94 public expenditure round to be announced shortly in the Autumn Statement.

The public sector wage bill should not increase in real terms.

The Government should push hard for a resolution to the Gatt Uruguay Round in order to boost international trade.

The uniform business rate should not be increased at all this year, and empty properties should be exempt from the UBR.

A determined programme of deregulation must proceed.

Public sector and government subcontractor terms of payment should be brought down to a maximum of 30 days in order to set an example on late payment.

Funding and a clear framework for business support services, particularly information and advice to help small and medium-sized enterprises, should be made available.

Finally, the Government should push, along with the European Community, for European air transport to be liberalised.

These measures would provide an immediate boost to businesses struggling to achieve a new upturn.

Yours faithfully,

FIONA JOHNSON

Policy Executive

The Association of British Chambers of Commerce

London, SW1

22 October

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