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CBI demands “sustained growth”

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Speaking ahead of today’s news that the UK economy grew 0.1 per cent in the last part of 2009, ending a sticky recession, Lambert attacked public borrowing levels and said only by generating “as much economic growth as possible” could the money be paid back.

He added that private sector businesses needed a commitment that normal economic stability would return as soon as sensibly possible. “Only then will businesses have the confidence to invest in the future and create new jobs," he said.  

"The shift back to a balanced position will take us through the lifetime of the next parliament at the least, and will require a very different kind of budgetary management than what we have grown used to over the past decade."

Lambert added: "Without growth, unemployment will not fall back to its pre-crisis levels, and the life chances of a generation of young people will be seriously impaired.

"Without growth, it will be next to impossible to restore the public finances to health, no matter how far spending is cut. Without growth, businesses will look elsewhere in the world to invest, and the huge investment that is needed in our country’s infrastructure — in power generation, transportation and the like — will be in jeopardy."

Lambert said the government should cut current spending, not capital investment, and it should refrain from raising taxes which would encumber growth.

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