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Chancellor's measures not enough

December 11 2003 - The UK will still be behind in the productivity stakes, according to Will Hutton, chief executive of The Work Foundation. Responding to Gordon Brown's pre-budget statement, "The Chancellor's measures in extending tax breaks for employer-provided childcare and announcements on encouraging enterprise are to be applauded. Too many women with children suffer the barrier of inadequate and expensive childcare when they consider returning to work.

"It is also true that UK rates of enterprise creation lag those found in the US. The business community will welcome the abolition of 147 regulations and the manufacturing sector should welcome the announcement of the procurement review.

"However I would urge the Chancellor to examine Europe as well as the US for inspiration in encouraging more enterprise. France, the former West Germany, Belgium and some other European countries have higher GDP per person per hour productivity rates than both the UK and the US. The message is there is more than one way to create an enterprise culture."

"The Work Foundation's recent business-led report into productivity, The Missing Link: From Productivity to Performance highlighted the importance of understanding the drivers at organisational level that underpin higher performance and increased levels of productivity and wealth creation. "

"Only by encouraging firms to manage well the strategies across five key capitals: shareholder value, stakeholder value, customers and markets, people and innovation will we crack the code to a high value added economy."

He continued, "It is imperative that the RDA's lead an increase in networking among growth-potential businesses and other bodies from local skills councils, chambers of commerce, the small business service, regional TUC Councils and local CBI bodies, among others, to share good practices, encourage better management, develop better communications, encourage innovation and risk taking and offer routes to finance."

Will Hutton concluded by saying, "The UK does need a more enterprising business environment. Many of the macro and micro-economic reforms since 1997 have helped get us into a position to develop the outlines of a new British business model. Now we need to better define how and what that model should look like. For that we need to look East as well as West."


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