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[ 05-05-2010 ]

As the day of the General Election finally arrives, Scottish Chambers of Commerce have warned the politicians not to lose sight of the most important issue facing Britain today – our economy.  Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Now that the rhetoric of the General Election Campaign is over, it is time for the politicians to get on with the job of getting the economy back on track.  It is clear from the platforms of each of the political parties that cuts in public spending and increases in tax revenues will be necessary in order to tackle the budget deficit.  This will curtail the ability of the public sector to contribute to our economic growth through its spend, and instead it will be up to the private sector to create the wealth needed to repair our finances, provide new employment opportunities and lead us to prosperity.
“In order to do this, Scottish businesses need the right environment for success.  This will require some early decisions by whichever Government emerges over the next few days in order to prepare the path for growth.  There are three key areas where action is required and these must be prioritised urgently.
“Firstly, nobody ever likes to pay taxes, but business recognises that Government will need to raise revenues.  Tax rises however must be well targeted and that is why we have been calling for a reversal of next year’s planned rise in employers’ National Insurance Contributions.  You don’t incentivise something by putting more tax on it and we must not proceed with this tax on jobs at a time when businesses are doing their best to create employment.
“Secondly, the Government must get to grips with the growing burden of public sector pensions.  This will not necessarily deliver savings in the short term, but it is essential if we are to secure the maximum value from the public purse in the longer term.
“Finally, the focus of public spending must be towards a clear goal: supporting business and growing our economy.  This means that we need to maintain investment in the connectivity we require to grow our international trade links.  It is, after all, businesses that are the wealth creators and the source of the funding that goes to pay for our essential public services.  This is a fact that our politicians would do well to remember.”
SCC's Policy Document - Down to Business