ACE has issued its budget submission ahead of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's budget due to take place in April.
In its submission to the budget ACE recognises that 2011 continues to present the UK government with a number of key challenges such as;
Promoting economic growth;
Creating conditions that are conducive to employment;
Rebalancing the roles of the public and private sector given the size of the deficit;
Addressing the seriousness of the infrastructure challenge;
Maintaining growth conditions despite higher inflation and falling disposable incomes;
Maintaining international confidence in the UK’s financial markets;
Developing the UK’s low carbon economy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, which are increasingly likely to feed inflation; and
Improving the international competitiveness of the UK.
The recommendations made by ACE have been designed to encourage economic growth in the short run, whilst improving the UK’s long run competitiveness. Within the proposed measures emphasis has been placed on the need to reduce the deficit, promoting confidence among investors and facilitating job creation.
ACE’s key recommendations are
Support infrastructure investment and construction as a means of driving economic growth;
Set out clear, cohesive plans for encouraging private sector investment in infrastructure, particularly through innovative mechanisms;
Taxation in the SME sector: simplify taxation policy for SMEs to encourage economic activity;
Reform public spending through efficiencies in procurement processes;
Spatial planning will be key to delivering growth and efficient infrastructure;
Ensure higher education resources are prioritised to support those industries that are vital for economic growth;
Address the deficit in a balanced way that gives confidence to industry and investors;
Address market and regulatory issues to facilitate the delivery of new energy generation capacity; and
Reform the water industry regulatory cycle to reward innovation and long term investment.