Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

East Anglia: Task of rebalancing economy ‘not yet done’, Kenneth Clarke warns

18:53 30 January 2014

The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, centres,  with Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, left, and the chairman of the Ipswich and Suffolk Business Club, Clive Underdown) taking in the sights of the Ipswich waterfront yesterday.

The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, centres, with Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, left, and the chairman of the Ipswich and Suffolk Business Club, Clive Underdown) taking in the sights of the Ipswich waterfront yesterday.

Paul Nixon Photography 07904296577

The job of rebalancing the UK economy is not yet complete despite the upturn in growth, a senior Government minister said during a visit to Suffolk today.

shares

Former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, who is currently Minister Without Portfolio within the Cabinet, highlighted the need for the UK to improve its export performance in order to ensure a broadly-based and sustainable recovery.

He was speaking on the same day that Lord Livingston, the Government’s new Trade Minister (who as Ian Livingston was previously chief executive of BT) made his first ministerial visit to the eastern region, to promote a new Government drive to boost exporting by medium-sized firms.

“We have to continue not only to come out of the deepest economic crisis we have seen in recent times but to create a competitive modern economy for the benefit of the future generation as well as our own,” said Mr Clarke.

“There is a comparison to be made with Germany where many more medium-sized businesses are engaged in exporting. Governments can accidentally concentrate on big multi-nationals and on smaller businesses. Ian is very much putting his emphasis on the medium-sized sector.”

Mr Clarke said that, relative to the scale of the “calamity” the UK economy had suffered, the present recovery was one the strongest, if not the strongest, among the western democracies. However, to ensure a lasting and sustainable recovery, there needed to be an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

“The consumer-led element of the recovery is not a matter of concern in itself but it does underline the fact that we still need to reblance the economy. That job is not yet done,” he said. “Manufacturing is growing but we need to accelerate that; we still have to improve our export peformance and we still have to improve our skills performance.

“We also have to carry on getting the Government finances in order and cutting debt to a sustainable level,” said Mr Clarke. “When you have fiscal problems you have to sort them, and they are not sorted out yet, although hopefully the worst is over.”

And, in a side swipe at Labour leader Ed Miliband’s plan to reintroduce a 50% tax rate, he added: “We also need reasonable tax levels, not symbolic tax levels.”

Mr Clarke was speaking at the Aurora restaurant on the Ipswich Waterfront at the inaugural meeting of the Ipswich and Suffolk Business Club which has been launched to build on the success of a number of business lunches hosted by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer last year.

It aims to bring together senior business leaders to discuss key issues affecting local firms and to help drive growth. Members will receive a free place at four lunch or dinner events to be held during the year, each with a high-profile speaker,

Following today’s lunch, Mr Clarke and Mr Gummer visited Ipswich-based energy company Haven Power, with the Minister then heading for Norwich for tonight’s edition of the BBC’s Question Time programme.

shares

1 comment

  • Doesn't Mr Clarke mean his tory party haven't made the gap between the rich tories and the poor working class big enough yet ?, fortunately May 2015 is fast approaching, then he can be put out to grass !, what I really mean is kicked so far into the long grass he and his party won't be back in my lifetime !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Friday, January 31, 2014

Pupils and Students outside Bealings Primary School where they are planning to boycott classes next Tuesday as a protest against SATS.

A group of parents from Suffolk are planning to take their children out of school for the day in a show of protest against SATs exams.

Three arrests in rogue trader inquiry

Three suspected doorstep conmen have been arrested in Ipswich after residents at two addresses reported rogue traders calling on them.

Familie Floz will be among the diverse dance line-up for Latitude.

A feast of international dance – along with extra names from the music and theatre world – has today been announced for this summer’s Latitude Festival.

Nearly 14,000 people flocked to the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion during the first three months of its re-opening. Photo: Su Anderson

The new owners of Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion are celebrating after it was revealed thousands have flocked to see shows at the recently re-opened venue.

A motorist drove into a wall in Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, on Wednesday 27th April.

An alleged drink driver crashed his BMW 525 estate into a wall and collided with three other vehicles in Sidegate Lane yesterday afternoon.

Keith Sadler at his home in Stowmarket.

A singer-songwriter from Suffolk whose life turned in a different direction due to health problems has released an album.

Candidates Tim Passmore, Cath Pickles, Helen Korfanty, Terence Carter and Simon Tobin all signed the pledge.

All five candidates running for Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner role have signed a pledge to end sexual violence against women and girls in the county.

Kevin Keen, who has left his post as manager of Colchester United this afternoon

On Sleeping Giants this week, we discuss Colchester United’s next move, the Whizzinator, sporting cheats and painful moments.

Suffolk County Council's chief executive Deborah Cadman

The union representing the largest number of staff at Suffolk County Council has called for all employees at the authority to be given the same pay rise as chief executive Deborah Cadman.

Joe and Ruth Lubbock celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this week.

Suffolk couple Joseph and Ruth Lubbock are today celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. LYNNE MORTIMER meets them as they mark three-quarters of a century as Mr and Mrs Lubbock.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24