The government can promote business growth and investment by improving access to finance
SMEs in particular are still struggling to access the funding they require, so it is encouraging that the Prime Minister noted in his speech on Monday that opening up access to finance and getting banks lending will be crucial to drive growth. Government should promote access to finance through facilitating greater transparency around lending policies; encouraging increased competition in the banking sector; and promoting alternatives to bank lending.
The government could take better advantage of green opportunities if more resources are given to the Green Investment Bank
The scale of investment needed to really capitalise on the opportunities in green technologies will not be met by the current plans for a £1bn Green Investment Bank. The government should be more ambitious: estimates suggest that the development of a low carbon infrastructure and low-carbon technologies will require £5bn of funding over the next five years.
The government will maximise the returns to its investment, if it is clear about its plans, and the kinds of support that will be available.
In many areas of government spending, greater details are required. Particular areas the government should clarify include which types of adult apprenticeship will be funded by the £250mn announced; and how funding to help firms commercialise their innovative ideas will be allocated.