Business leaders in Bristol have echoed the national criticism levelled at the Government over its planned legislation for the coming year.
The Queen’s Speech was met with widespread criticism from the businesses community and similar concerns have been raised in Bristol.
Ministers were clearly stung by criticisms from business leaders that the showpiece speech last week contained nothing to stimulate the stagnant economy.
Phil Smith, the head of Business West which is the biggest business organisation in Bristol, said: “It is hard to disagree with the announcement of measures which, in the words of David Cameron, plan to ‘make Britain more business-friendly’.
“Proposals outlined in the Queen’s Speech to cut regulation through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill sound sensible, and will help employers hire new staff and resolve disputes in the workplace more quickly.
“On balance, business will be pleased about some of the Government’s proposed legislative measures, but will express serious reservations about others.
“The Government is in danger of undermining positive steps such as reform to employment tribunals and red tape reductions by adding in complex new burdens such as those around shared parental leave.
“However, we really do need to see much more progress on action rather than rhetoric.”
Gerry Jones, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the South West, said: “The Government is right to place deficit reduction and economic stability at the forefront of their programme.
“However, we need to see them pursued enthusiastically in practice, not just in principle.
“To restore business confidence, which is the real key to growth, there must be drastic measures to cut costly regulation and continue to tackle the deficit.
“Tweaking the edges of the system will not be enough – it’s not the number of Bills that matters, it’s what is in them that really counts.”
Shadow business secretary Chuka Ummuna said that ministers should take responsibility for their mistakes in handling the economy and not try to put the blame on business.
“Business leaders have told ministers that this Government has lost the plot and urgently needs to work with them to create the conditions to foster private sector growth and to provide a more certain policy environment to give business the confidence to invest.
“The truth is that this Tory-led Government’s disastrous policies have put Britain into recession when it inherited an economy that was growing and now they are seeking to dump the blame on business for their economic incompetence.”
PUBLICATION: This Is Gloucestershire - 17 May 2012