Business growth plan ‘not enough’ without bank involvement

Whilst the report acknowledges that deals already made were a step in the right direction, it claims that there are still no concrete signs business is getting the access to capital it needs.
The cross-party Business, Innovation and Skills Committee says the different proposals to promote growth do not add up to a “comprehensive strategy”.
The report is the committee’s initial assessment of the government’s plans to support UK industry and growth.
It says the banks’ role in providing finance to business is crucial to the success of the economy and a key theme in its report.
“All the good that the department hopes to achieve in its industrial policies will suffer without a vibrant business community which has adequate access for working capital,” it says.
“That, more than any government initiative, will drive the recovery.”
The report says that the government’s Project Merlin agreement between it and the banks was a step in the right direction, but it had not solved the issue of lending and the “jury will remain out until it delivers real benefits to industry”.
The report goes on to say that the government has no clear way of measuring the performance of its policies, and that a strong economy could hide its failures, while a poorly performing environment could risk overshadowing otherwise “excellent strategies or interventions”.
Chairman of the committee Adrian Bailey says: “The department’s focus on economic growth is welcome but warm words and aspirations are not enough.
“Unless the department develops detailed plans to help industry then this positive message will mean little to UK businesses.”
Cable says the government is on the right track, but added: “We know there is more to be done.
“That’s why we are currently working closely with business on the growth review to promote a new economic dynamism by removing barriers and putting the private sector first when it comes to decisions on tax, regulation and spending.”
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