Whatever the outcome of the power talks currently happening to determine who leads the country, the incoming government has just 90 days to prove its business credentials, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says.
Issuing a 12-point plan for growth, the employers’ group said the next government has to put business at the heart of its thinking from day one.
Included in the BCC’s demands is a call to scrap Labour’s planned National Insurance increase, a moratorium on new employment laws before 2014, a "systematic review" of business regulations and measures to increase finance for viable companies.
The organisation warned that failure to implement the 90-day plan "will mean a slower, or even non-existent, recovery."
Commenting, BBC director general David Frost said: "We will be judging the performance of the next government against its delivery of a clear plan for business. Putting business growth at the very core of a new administration’s thinking is fundamental to returning our economy to health quickly, and for the long-term.
"Sorting out the dismal state of our public finances must be at the very top of the agenda. The phoney war between the parties must end, and as the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown, the parties must be crystal clear about where spending cuts will fall.
"During the first 90 days after an election, an incoming government must make concrete proposals to reduce red tape and tax burdens on business; review how to move the economy away from an over-reliance on consumption and the public sector; and commit to improving Britain’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure."
The BCC’s 12 point plan:
Returning our public finances to health
1. Publish a credible plan to reduce the budget deficit and restore confidence
2. Freeze public sector wage bill and reform public pensions
3. Implement measures to promote stable access to finance for viable companies
1. Cancel the planned employer NICs rise – a ‘tax on jobs’ – in full
2. Pledge not to introduce any burdensome new employment laws before 2014
3. Begin a systematic review of existing regulations affecting employers
1. Avoid deep cuts to infrastructure projects that support business growth
2. Stabilise and de-politicise the planning system, giving businesses confidence to invest
3. Deliver a radical plan for next-generation business broadband by 2040
Growing trade and exports
1. Prime Minister to set out a focused vision for a strong export economy
2. Strengthen UK Trade and Investment based on the principle of national strategy and local delivery
3. Introduce a short-term scheme to address market failures in export credit insurance