· 2 min read · News

Business groups have reservations about the new government's take on public-sector spending and National Insurance increases

Published:

Business groups have cautiously welcomed David Cameron and Nick Clegg's coalition government, but maintain reservations over public-sector spending cuts and the potential impact of National Insurance contribution increases on employers.

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "We look forward to working with the new coalition government during a critical time for the economy.
 
"We will judge the new administration on the basis of what it does to promote business recovery across the UK. The BCC wants to see the delivery of a clear and achievable plan for business over the first 90 days of a new administration - a plan that puts business growth at the centre stage.
 
"Fixing the public finances must be at the top of the agenda. The Conservative-led coalition must be absolutely clear about where spending cuts will fall, and about the need to curb relentless growth in the size and cost of the public sector. They must also follow through on their promise to roll back the planned employer National Insurance rise in any emergency Budget.
 
"The next 90 days are crucial for recovery. We need concrete proposals to reduce red tape and tax burdens on business; action to move the economy away from consumption and the public sector and towards exports; and commitments to improve Britain's key business infrastructure."

The Forum of Private Business is more cautious in its welcome to the new prime minister, his party and the Liberal Democrats.

The small business support group hopes yesterday's announcement will mark the start of a stable and functional administration that is committed to ensuring economic recovery.

Its chief executive, Phil Orford, said: "There's no doubt that the past week has been an anxious and worrying time for small business owners.

"Smaller firms urgently need some degree of certainty so they can begin to plan for the future. Hopefully, Cameron's appointment will herald the beginning of a workable government, which will ensure economic stability and give smaller firms the confidence to aspire and grow.

 "I would just like to reiterate the Forum's previous calls for politicians of all political persuasions to show responsibility and put aside their differences in order to avoid pushing the UK into further economic turmoil. It is imperative that our MPs put aside point-scoring and work together to make Britain a stable and prosperous place to run a business."

As HR was going to press this morning the Government had announced David Cameron will become prime minister with Nick Clegg as his deputy.

Conservative George Osborne will take on the role of chancellor of the Exchequer with Liberal Democrat Vince Cable joining the cabinet with a responsibility for the economy and banking. A cabinet minister for work and families, pensions and skills had yet to be announced.