CBI in call to Government to increase public investment

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Business leaders are calling for a £6 billion increase in public investment to help companies cope with the uncertain economic outlook.

The CBI urged the Government to use next month's Autumn Statement to set out a pro-enterprise agenda to boost confidence following the EU referendum result.

The business group said public sector spending should rise to 2% of economic output, which would increase investment by £6 billion a year in the coming years.

Some of the money should be spent on local transport, including road schemes such as dualling of the A1 from Newcastle to Scotland, according to the CBI.

Director general Carolyn Fairbairn said: "The Chancellor should capitalise on the UK's core strengths, setting out a pro-enterprise agenda that instils confidence and kick starts investment.

"With huge variations in productivity between different parts of the country, the top priority must be to set out a programme that will get our regions firing on all cylinders and supports businesses to innovate, invest and create jobs in the years ahead.

"Amid economic uncertainty, it's important that the Government does what it can to incentivise businesses to invest today, rather than postpone until tomorrow. 

"With interest rates at rock bottom, now is the time for the UK to put serious effort into improving our creaking infrastructure. We would like to see £6 billion more spent each year on public investment: improving our transport and digital network, building more homes and extending regional funding."

The CBI also called for better childcare support and extended maternity pay.