Chancellor urged not to promise spending spree

Chris Papadopoullos
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THE CHANCELLOR has today been urged not to put the public finances at risk by promising big spending projects in next week’s Autumn Statement.

TheCityUK – a trade body for the financial sector – says the risk to economic stability could be reduced by achieving stronger public finances.

While welcoming spending on infrastructure, the body believes government policy should facilitate greater involvement of financial services in infrastructure investment to ease the burden on the Treasury.

The body also called for a new state infrastructure body to be created.

“The creation of a new body to project-manage infrastructure projects would pave the way for financial institutions to fund new projects because much of the uncertainty and risk around project logistics would be removed,” the report said.

Another request is that all new regulation be tested specifically for the impact it has on competitiveness. “Financial stability is warranted, but that it should not result in legislation or policy that inadvertently stifles competitiveness and growth,” the trade body said.

TheCityUK also wants to see better funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises and believed this could be achieved through promoting alternative sources of finance.

Such sources would include crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.