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18 July 2013

Michael Fallon: Rescue to recovery

Speaking at the National Investment Summit in London, the UK Minister for Business and Enterprise said: "We continue to have to face the consequences from the biggest financial crisis in generations, but we are now moving from rescue to recovery".

As part of the Spending Round 2013, the Chancellor announced that £11.5 billion of savings would be found from government budgets in order to continue along Britain’s path to deficit reduction. This will allow a further £3 billion per year to be spent on capital from the year 2015 to 2016, boosting investment in infrastructure and supporting economic growth, at the same time as ensuring a sustained reduction in the deficit.

Alongside our strategy for deficit reduction, we are determined to ensure that business is successful. This is the key to the recovery. Our consistent ambition has been to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business.

We are also seeing the benefit of successful businesses, like those you have invested in:

firstly, the employment rate recently reached its highest level since records began (1971): 29.76 million, a 24,000 increase since the last quarter;

secondly, Companies House records show that there were 450,000 new incorporations in 2011/12 (latest data), the highest on record;

thirdly, the UK remained Europe’s top recipient of foreign direct investment projects in 2012

But, we are not resting on our laurels - our aim continues to be for the UK to be the best place in Europe to start and grow a business.

Of course, there is still more that we can do to help businesses, which is why we are establishing the Business Bank. In addition to increasing the supply and diversity of finance, it will bring together existing finance schemes, enabling greater flexibility and responsiveness in the way they are managed. By taking this joined-up approach, vital resources can be channelled to those initiatives that best support growing businesses.

It is vital that small businesses and entrepreneurs have access to range of finance options, to give them the choice and flexibility that suits their needs. And you, the business angel community, have a key role to play here.

Investment is crucial for those companies that do want to grow and are, or could be, the ‘Vital 6 Per Cent’ - the small number of fast-growing businesses that create the lion’s share of employment growth.

We are operating in a world where many of today’s global companies did not exist a few years ago. This will no doubt apply in the future too. It is those countries with the entrepreneurial spirit to start a business, and back a business, that will succeed. We have both of these in Britain.

Full speech

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