Cameron vows to slash red tape
Market watch top headlines
LONDON, Nov 19 AFP
November 19 2012, 12:09AM
Britain's bureaucrats must summon the spirit used to defeat Hitler's Germany in order to stimulate sustained growth in the country's stuttering economy, Prime Minister David Cameron will say on Monday.
In a speech to be delivered at the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) -- an influential business lobbying group -- Cameron was to outline plans to cut through red tape, according to extracts released by his Downing Street office.
He was to blame pressure from lobbyists for creating "risk-averse" civil servants and explain his plans to get "Britain on the rise to compete and thrive in the global race."
"Over the past two and a half years I've worked with exceptional civil servants who are as creative and enterprising as any entrepreneur -- and they are as frustrated with a lot of this bureaucratic rubbish as I am," he was to say.
"When this country was at war in the 40s, Whitehall (Britain's civil service) underwent a revolution.
"Normal rules were circumvented. Convention was thrown out. 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 was to add.
The prime minister was to highlight the proliferation of judicial reviews as a key example of excessive bureaucracy.
"Back in 1998 there were four and a half thousand applications for review and that number almost tripled in a decade. We urgently needed to get a grip on this," he was to argue.
He was to announce plans to restrict the time limit for bringing cases, charge more for reviews and halve the number of times a case can be heard.
This year's conference takes place against the backdrop of rebounding economic growth, but the outlook remains uncertain.
Recent data showed that gross domestic product jumped 1.0 per cent in the third quarter, as Britain powered out of its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s with the help of the London Olympic Games.
However, the Bank of England forecast last week that the economy could shrink again in the fourth quarter, with low growth expected for the next three years due to the eurozone debt crisis, tight credit and inflationary pressures.
On his broader strategy to promote growth, Cameron was to repeat his commitment to deficit reduction, reduced business taxes and reforms to education and welfare.
Monday's conference will also be addressed by the coalition government's Business Secretary Vince Cable, as well as opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Other big-name speakers will include chief executives from a host of top blue-chip companies, including Jeremy Darroch at broadcaster BSkyB, Ian King at arms maker BAE Systems, and Harriet Green at travel firm Thomas Cook.
The CBI represents more than 240,000 companies dotted across Britain, and also has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Delhi and Washington.