Business leaders call for action on deficit and argue for GCSEs to be axed

30th December 2014


Business leaders have called on the Government to make cutting the deficit its top priority in 2015 and urged ministers to scrap GCSEs.

The CBI, formerly known as the Confederation of British Industry, also affirmed that the majority of its members support the UK remaining part of a reformed European Union.

In his New Year’s message CBI director general John Cridland said: “We must sustain the best launch pad for the UK economy and our young people. Cementing Britain’s reputation in the world as one of the best places to do business has to be a top priority for 2015.

“Our economy is among those enjoying the fastest growth among the G7 nations, with 1.2 million jobs created this year and employment set to grow in every region of the UK in 2015.”

On the deficit he said: “For business leaders, deficit reduction is a must for the next government.”

He said the easiest cuts to public services had already been made and suggested integrating health and social care, and moving a significant proportion of services online.

On education, Mr Cridland said the current system was leaving too many young people behind and he called for GCSEs to be replaced by a four-year learning plan between the ages of 14 and 18.

On Europe, he added: “The needs of the modern world increasingly don’t recognise either the Berlin Walls or the Hadrian’s Walls of the past.

“Political isolationism would leave us poorer. The majority of CBI member companies of all sizes want to remain in a reformed EU.

“But the EU has to reform and needs to be more competitive, outward looking and open.”

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