· News

British Chambers of Commerce proposes a public-sector pay freeze in Budget

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published its Budget submission calling for public-sector pay freezes and a halt to new employment regulations.

The submission has been delivered to the Chancellor and calls 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.

The BBC proposes the 1% hike in employer National Insurance Contributions, which it claims is a tax on jobs, should be cancelled as it believes a penny on VAT would largely offset the lost revenue.

The industry body estimates new employment legislation and tax over the next four years will cost business over £25 billion and is calling for a three-year moratorium on new employment law.

David Frost, the BCC's director general, said: "Without a successful and profitable business base of some scale we are going to find it hard to climb out of the economic mess we are in.

"A new government will need a radical first 90 days in office that allows the flourishing of a new industrial renaissance in this country.

"Here is my five-point plan: no new taxes on businesses; a reduction in the burdens on business; more successful, growing companies; turn the vision of an export-led recovery into a reality; and underpin all of this with a credible plan and timetable to reduce the country's deficit - without spending cuts to vital infrastructure."