FACTBOX-Views on British coalition’s first 100 days

Aug 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s first coalition government
since World War Two marked 100 days in office on Wednesday.

Below are some comments on the Conservative-Liberal Democrat
coalition’s progress so far:

RICHARD LAMBERT, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH
INDUSTRY

“The overall judgement to date is positive. Business has a
strong interest in the success of the coalition, the last thing
it wants is a period of drift and political uncertainty. And it
has been impressed by the speed and direction of policy-making.”

“This applies in particular to the government’s determined
efforts to get the public finances back into shape. June’s
budget was seen as bold and audacious, and it needed to be.”

“And it is not just in economic matters that this government
is turning out to be more radical than expected … if anything,
the worry now is that the government is attacking on such a
broad front, with big reforms proposed in the health service,
education, policing, welfare and more, that the process might
start to become unmanageable.”

MILES TEMPLEMAN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS

“We are delighted that the coalition has achieved two key
early objectives — an ambitious deficit reduction plan and a
bill facilitating more school competition. If we want the UK
economy to thrive, tackling the crisis in our public finances
and creating a better skilled workforce is absolutely central.”

“However, we are concerned that the government has yet to
show a similar enthusiasm for grappling with the problem of
over-regulation, particularly of the labour market.”

“If the UK is to compete with India and China as the economy
recovers the government needs to make it easier for businesses
to employ people, not harder.”

DAVID FROST, DIRECTOR GENERAL, BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

“Early action on deficit reduction and burdensome employment
regulation has been strongly welcomed by business, and many of
the measures in the emergency budget struck the right balance.”

“However, business wants to see more progress in areas such
as international trade and reform of the UK’s planning system.
While the prime minister has led a trade mission to India, we
have not yet seen the appointment of a dedicated trade minister,
nor a focused strategy for a strong export economy.”

LIZ PEACE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

“Its first 100 days have been stimulating, chaotic and
occasionally disturbing but this new era remains a historical
achievement, and it is to the coalition government’s credit that
it has not yet targeted the property industry as a quick and
crowd-pleasing way of raising cash.”

“What has spooked many however is its obsession with
localism: we hadn’t expected government to act so quickly to
scrap regional planning without giving thought to the impact on
risk-averse councils. Ministers must now make good their promise
to incentivise development in areas crying out for investment
and renewal.”

BOB CROW, GENERAL SECRETARY, RAIL, MARITIME AND TRANSPORT
WORKERS UNION

“One hundred days into the ConDem government we know that
transport is being lined up for further, massive cuts this
autumn that threaten jobs, infrastructure projects, safety and
the quality of service to the travelling public.”

“It will take co-ordinated trade union and community action
on a scale unseen since the Poll Tax resistance to stop the
ConDem’s cuts juggernaut.”

MARK SERWOTKA, GENERAL SECRETARY, PUBLIC AND COMMERCIAL
SERVICES UNION

“The government’s first 100 days have been characterised by
attack after attack on the low-paid, the vulnerable and on their
own workforce.”

“We do not accept the need to cut public spending. Cuts now
seriously risk plunging our economy into further economic crisis
and present the real possibility of a double-dip recession.”

“We believe there is a better, more effective, alternative,
including investment in public services, collecting the 120
billion pounds ($187.5 billion) of tax that is lost each year,
and saving billions of pounds by scrapping plans to replace the
Trident nuclear missile system.”

BRENDAN BARBER, GENERAL SECRETARY, TRADES UNION CONGRESS

“Before the election we were told that cuts could be
achieved through efficiency savings, that the most vulnerable
would be protected and front-line services preserved. These
pledges have not lasted 100 days.”

“What makes this worse is that these cuts are doing the
opposite of what the government intends. Far from securing the
economic recovery, they are slamming on the economic brakes.
Growth will be well below potential and there is growing risk of
a double-dip recession.”

PATRICK NOLAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, REFORM THINK TANK

“The first 100 days do matter in establishing a government’s
long-term vision. Its (the coalition’s) goal of a smaller
government and stronger society is right but many of its
policies go in exactly the other direction.”

ANTHONY WELLS, YOUGOV POLLSTERS

“We asked the public how it thought the government had done
so far. Forty three percent think the coalition government has
performed better than the last government, 26 percent worse.”

“The majority of the public has confidence in the
government’s ability to run the economy (55 percent) and there
is widespread confidence in its ability to cut the deficit (62
percent). However, the public are generally pessimistic about
its ability to deliver in other areas.”

“The public still don’t expect the coalition to last the
distance. Only 14 percent expect it to last more than four
years, 47 percent expect it to last less than two years.”
(For a related story, click on [ID:nLDE67G1AG])

FACTBOX-Views on British coalition’s first 100 days