Chamber chief outlines what he wants to see in tomorrow's budget

TIM Hutchings, chief executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke today about what Chancellor Alistair Darling should do to help boost business prospect in his budget tomorrow. Chancellor of the Exchequer s words will be poured

TIM Hutchings, chief executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke today about what Chancellor Alistair Darling should do to help boost business prospect in his budget tomorrow.

"Chancellor of the Exchequer's words will be poured over by press and politicians alike. We know that cuts are needed but don't know whether he will give any details. We understand the need to restore levels of public borrowing to those which are more sustainable but we also understand that it is business that will lead the country out of recession. We do not want to see anything that will make it more difficult for it to do so," said Mr Hutchings.

"The British Chambers of Commerce are broadly recognised as being the most accurate economic forecasters which, given the high level of response to its quarterly economic survey is probably to be expected has made its Budget submission, it includes:

* A call for a clear deficit reduction plan that sets out detailed cuts. This plan must include a freeze in the total public sector wage bill and fundamental reform of public sector pensions.


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* Cancel the 1% hike in employer National Insurance Contributions, which is a tax on jobs. The BCC has suggested that a penny on VAT would largely offset the lost revenue.

* New employment legislation and tax over the next four years will cost business over �25 billion. The BCC is calling for a three year moratorium on new employment law.

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* Provide more support around export trade finance, where Britain's exporters continue to be at a disadvantage compared to rivals on the Continent and further afield.

* Sustain investment in our transport, digital, and energy networks, which will underpin growth and form the foundation of our future competitiveness.

"I would add in a call to ensure that the development of skills is properly funded (not necessarily more money but more effective focus on the way it his spent). We cannot move forward without properly skilled people.

By teatime tomorrow we will know what has been said and the press and politicians will be in full flow what I shall be interested to hear is the views of the people it really effects - business people and those who work for them.

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