Cameron calls on business to provide ideas for growth

The Government has “a lot more to do” to stimulate growth in a bid to secure economic recovery, Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday.

He said he wanted to hear from business what was needed in this month’s Budget to encourage the setting up of new firms.

Mr Cameron was speaking as he opened a Cabinet meeting at Rolls-Royce in Derby, the second such gathering the coalition administration has held away from Westminster.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It was important for such “highest end” firms to expand, he suggested, but that action needed to go right down the chain.

“The point of the Cabinet today is really to ask one fundamental question: what is it that we can do in Government to help the economy to rebalance, to grow, and for businesses to start up to invest and to employ people?” he said.

“That is large businesses but also all the way down the chain to start-up businesses as well.

“We’ve got just two weeks to go before the Budget, I think that gives us an opportunity to make sure what we’re all looking at in the growth review, issues as far and wide as planning, housing, enterprise, taxation, all those things, we can bring them together in that Budget.

“The growth review – I know some good work’s been done but we have a lot more to do to make sure this really does help to make the economy rebalance and to grow.”

Cabinet ministers will carry out a series of visits in the region after the meeting and Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will host a summit for chairmen of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

The bodies – alliances between councils and companies, chaired by a businessman – replaced Labour’s Regional Development Agencies and are designed to unleash private sector growth as public sector cuts bite.

However, the British Chambers of Commerce has warned that the “jury is out” on LEPs due to their lack of resources and uncertain powers.

So far more than 30 have been formed, but although they cover more than 70 per cent of England’s population there are still gaps.

Yesterday the Prime Minister appealed for “go-getting” entrepreneurs to pull UK plc out of the doldrums and dismissed “cowardly” calls for public spending cuts to be eased amid fears that soaring oil costs could undermine the fledgling recovery,

Instead, he insisted the “only strategy” was to tackle the “enemies of enterprise” in Britain by cutting tax and bureaucracy, and boosting trade.

Chancellor George Osborne gave a further strong hint that measures to reduce the impact of rising oil prices at the petrol pump would be included in his Budget.

Duty is due to rise by another 1p per litre next month but Mr Osborne has given clear signals that drivers can expect that to be put off.

Mr Osborne said spending cuts had been spread “pretty fairly across the country”.