Business groups publish manifestos ahead of election

Written by: Rachel Miller

Date: 4 June 2024

A sign saying General election 2024 outside Westminster

The British Chambers of Commerce and the CBI have laid out their proposals for the new government ahead of the general election.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published its plan to transform the economy and help businesses of all sizes to achieve their full potential. The proposals encompass five reports as part of the BCC's Future of the Economy manifesto.

The BCC wants to see:

  • An industrial strategy with green innovation at its heart.
  • Better skills planning, bringing businesses and training providers together to create a workforce for the future.
  • Business rates reform to encourage growth and investment; creating a system that is responsive to local conditions and to the growth stage of a business.
  • Improved relations with the EU and better trading terms to cut the costs for business.
  • A government-appointed AI champion for SMEs to spearhead uptake of new technology.

"The companies we represent are the drivers of economic growth and the employers of millions of people. They need to know that politicians have got their back. Once the votes are counted - we want government to know how to help business." Shevaun Haviland, BCC director general.

Martha Lane Fox, BCC president said: "In the frenzy of the election campaign, it's crucial that all politicians focus on the power of British business. As I travel across the UK meeting chambers and their businesses, I hear amazing stories of people determined to grow their businesses and make a difference in our remarkable country. But time and again businesses tell me they want to see a long-term vision for the economy.

"Our manifesto showcases practical ideas on how politicians can help companies successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities our economy faces. It's a blueprint for boosting productivity and a pathway to higher growth."

CBI calls for action in first 100 days

The CBI's Business Manifesto urges the new government to focus on the "big three" enablers for investment within the first 100 days: building a tax environment that drives investment, transforming the planning system to speed up decisions and cut bureaucracy and boosting the labour market and productivity.

"The UK economy has spent the last five years buffeted by a series of 'one-off' shocks - from the aftermath of Brexit, to COVID, to global conflict and the subsequent energy crisis. As a result, our economy has understandably focused more on shock absorption than on boosting growth. Firms can now see some bright spots emerging in the UK economy. But the challenges are persistent … a new government of whatever colour provides an opportunity to shift gear and prioritise the long-term decisions that can deliver a decade of sustainable growth." Rain Newton-Smith, CBI ceo.

The CBI manifesto also includes the following key recommendations:

  • Launch a cutting-edge trade and investment strategy, increasing UK exports, securing imports and growing investment.
  • Deliver a net zero investment plan, secure the UK's standing as world-leader on green growth.
  • Unlock the power of UK regions, aligning UK industrial and trade strategy with the transformative role of UK mayors.

Written by Rachel Miller.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.