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29.10.12

CIPFA calls for emphasis on growth

More emphasis will need to be placed on growth in the Chancellor’s upcoming Autumn Statement, a new report suggests.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has published ‘The Long Downturn’, highlighting the challenges ahead for the economy.

The report states that the Government’s implementation of spending reductions and austerity measures is on track, but that there is a need to stimulate growth. This could be achieved through tax incentivisation of the private sector, or by public sector investment in capital infrastructure projects, CIPFA suggests.

Public perceptions of fairness and tolerance of cuts will be critical as further cuts are implemented, the report added.

Steve Freer, CIPFA’s chief executive, said: “The Chancellor is having to drive with one foot on the growth accelerator and the other on the austerity brake. The ongoing problems in the Eurozone are severe hazards on the road ahead.

“The story on austerity is ‘so far, so good’ but there is no room for complacency. He will want to continue reining back public spending as aggressively as possible, while crucially staying on the right side of the public's tolerance of cuts.

“On growth, the story is much less positive. He is likely to be searching for more levers to stimulate the economy, but will also be mindful that these initiatives have to be paid for, potentially by further tightening of spending plans.

“The critical bottom line is that both strands of the strategy have to be working to deliver the deficit and debt reduction results required.”

The report is at: www.cipfa.org/-/media/Files/Aboutus/Pressoffice/ThelongdownturnFINAL.PDF

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