Cameron pledges to lower hurdles to growth

LONDON Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:44am GMT

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron meets injured soldiers and their families at Tedworth House, a Help for Heroes recovery centre, in Tidworth, southern England November 16, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Parsons/Pool

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron meets injured soldiers and their families at Tedworth House, a Help for Heroes recovery centre, in Tidworth, southern England November 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Parsons/Pool

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron promised on Monday to slash legal and regulatory obstacles to economic growth, seeking to ward off criticism that the government is doing too little to help companies and revive an ailing economy.

Cameron said he was determined to cut through officialdom and change a risk-averse government culture of consultation, review and audit that hindered enterprise.

"When this country was at war in the 1940s, Whitehall underwent a revolution," he said, referring to the British government. "Normal rules were circumvented. Convention was thrown out," Cameron said in advance extracts of a speech to business leaders.

"As one historian put it, everything was thrown at 'the overriding purpose' of beating Hitler. Well, this country is in the economic equivalent of war today - and we need the same spirit," he added.

Cameron's Conservative-led government has pledged to tackle its budget deficit and has little room to boost Britain's stagnant growth with extra state spending.

It has instead been seeking to promote a private-sector-led recovery, identifying a series of job-creating infrastructure projects, but has since been frustrated by the slow pace of progress.

Cameron said the government would impose restrictions on the use of a legal process known as judicial review, used increasingly by opponents to delay big infrastructure schemes.

A planned high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham faces five such reviews in court hearings next month from residents and others affected by its construction.

In addition, officials would be barred from introducing costly business regulations unless they withdrew two other bureaucratic rules at the same time, in a doubling of an existing "one-in, one-out" procedure.

Cameron was due to make the remarks to the country's main business lobby group, the Confederation of British Industry, which has demanded more action to boost the economy.

CBI head John Cridland called on Sunday for Chancellor George Osborne to inject a further 1.5 billion pounds into the economy to stimulate growth when he makes a budget statement in December.

Cridland said London's successful 2012 Olympics were a model for an infrastructure-led recovery.

"I'd like to see the government bottle what worked with the Olympics, which is we did something on time, on spec - a fabulous construction project," he told Sky News.

"And do that with a motorway, a big power station, a big offshore wind farm, maybe a tunnel under the Thames (River) for our waste sewerage. Let's get these things happening," Cridland added.

($1 = 0.6311 British pounds)

(Reporting by Tim Castle, editing by Gary Crosse)

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Comments (3)
mgb500 wrote:
“As one historian put it, everything was thrown at ‘the overriding purpose’ of beating Hitler. Well, this country is in the economic equivalent of war today – and we need the same spirit,” he added.

errrrrrr Cameron, you forget – the 4th Reich controls what you do – which is quite ironic given your comments! Besides, folk of 1940 didn’t have a morass of mindless PC/’elf n safety nonsense…no Safety Assessment when opening a jar of coffee in a council office…..it didn’t take 6-7 men to remove some hanging flower baskets…in summary Cameron, as with all politicians you are spouting BS again!

Nov 19, 2012 6:48am GMT  --  Report as abuse
CraigBee wrote:
And thus the neoliberal agenda rolls on.. now we’re taking away the checks and balances in the name of recovery – this will not end well…

Nov 19, 2012 8:04am GMT  --  Report as abuse
DR9WX wrote:
The problems are structural, namely Government deficit spending and fractional reserve banking. These two mechanisms, slowly and surely, transfer the wealth of the middle class to the financial elite.

Destroying the middle class destroys growth, jobs and economic success of the country. The financial elites belong to no country.

Until this is understood then stopped we are simply wasting / buying time. Unfortunately, the politicians love deficit spending. Poor people love deficit spending, the financial elite love government spending. Fractional reserve banking allows deficit spending.

So people, until we the people stop the government from deficit spending and stop banks from this fractional reserve nonsense, then things will get worse. Until we do stop it.

It is a great pity that the middle classes are massively outnumbered.

Nov 19, 2012 9:17am GMT  --  Report as abuse
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