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Chancellor urged to ‘boost infrastructure and encourage innovation’ in Autumn Statement

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged Chancellor George Osborne to include measures to boost infrastructure and encourage innovation in his 2014 Autumn Statement, which will be presented on Wednesday 3 December.

The leading business group has called on the Chancellor to focus on infrastructure investment, encouraging innovation and removing barriers to enterprise.

With recent research suggesting that many businesses expect transport and energy infrastructure to worsen in the coming years, the CBI has urged the Government to set out clear plans for improving UK infrastructure.

The business group is also calling on the Government to introduce a number of tax reforms, including an overhaul of the business rates system, ‘supercharging’ R&D tax credits and addressing the issue of the Annual Investment Allowance, which is due to fall from £500,000 to just £25,000 in 2016.

The CBI also wants the Government to freeze long-haul Air Passenger Duty, to support UK firms looking to export.

Commenting on the CBI’s Autumn Statement submission, Director-General John Cridland, said, ‘The UK recovery is on solid ground but it is in increasingly stark contrast to what’s happening elsewhere in the world. With Eurozone economies flat-lining, continuing political tension between Russia and Ukraine, and in the Middle East, and slowing emerging markets, we must be alert to the possible knock-on effects here’.

‘Businesses recognise the public purse is under pressure, which is why they want the Government to continue tackling the deficit, alongside targeted, affordable measures to keep UK growth motoring now, in the next Parliament, and beyond.’