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“A Strategy for Sustainable Growth”

Volume 514: debated on Tuesday 20 July 2010

Balanced and sustainable economic growth can only be driven by business and enterprise. Business in the UK cannot prosper while the risk of a debt crisis hangs over the economy. This Government have therefore rightly put decisive action on the fiscal deficit at the centre of its agenda. Equally though, it is vital we recognise strong and continuing growth is a key route to getting this country back on track, including paying down our debts. Today I am publishing “A Strategy for Sustainable Growth”, which sets out some of the challenges and choices we face moving forward.

There are three key planks of our strategy

promoting the efficient operation of markets to support growth;

smarter public and private investment in the economy, including creating a highly skilled workforce; and

encouraging entrepreneurialism and individual engagement in the economy to support growth.

Despite the constrained fiscal environment, we believe there are good reasons to be optimistic that we can achieve balanced and sustainable growth. It is Government’s role to provide the vision and strong leadership necessary to make it happen.

As set out in our strategy, a more sustainable and balanced model of growth will be one that develops our exports, enables business to grow, spreads jobs and opportunities across regions, protects and builds on Britain’s strengths, and positions us to prosper through the transition to a greener economy. Government must ensure there is stability, certainty and fairness in the business environment which will encourage private sector investment and entrepreneurialism.

We also need to recognise and understand how Government policy impacts on business—and where we can get rid of unnecessary barriers to growth. Our deregulation agenda is an important part of this.

Government must also ensure that when they use public money they elicit the greatest possible economic returns. We need to make more use of our scientific and research excellence so that innovation can drive long-term growth and change, and we need to ensure we have the skill and infrastructure needed to meet new challenges and make the most of the opportunities available.

Copies of “A Strategy for Sustainable Growth” have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses, and are available on the BIS website.