Business leaders lend support to Government cuts

Leaders of some of the UK’s largest companies, including Asda, Marks & Spencer and BT, have written an open letter to The Daily Telegraph supporting the Government’s impending spending cuts.

The 35 business leaders, including Asda chairman Andy Bond., Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of M&S and Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, say that chairman George Osborne the Government must make big cuts to stave off a double dip recession and avoid further economic problems in the future.

In the letter, they say “it would be a mistake to water down” or slow down the deficit reduction programme Osborne revealed in his emergency budget in June.

“We would encourage George Osborne and the Government to press ahead with his plans to reduce the deficit. In the long run it will deliver a healthier and more stable economy.”

They urge that failing to take urgent action to cut the nation’s debt would lead to “additional borrowing, higher national debt and higher spending on interest payments” as well as international markets “losing faith” in Britain.

“Addressing the debt problem in a decisive way will improve business and consumer confidence. There is no reason to think that the pace of consolidation envisaged in the Budget will undermine the recovery.”

Shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson has criticised the Government’s cuts saying that the plans will lead to further unemployment and low growth rates.

Other signatories of the letter include: Ian Cheshire, chief executive of Kingfisher, Paul Walsh, chief executive of Diageo and Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next.

Full list of business leaders involved

Will Adderley, CEO, Dunelm Group
Robert Bensoussan, Chairman, L.K. Bennett
Andy Bond, Chairman, Asda
Ian Cheshire, Chief Executive, Kingfisher
Gerald Corbett, Chairman, SSL International, moneysupermarket.com, Britvic
Peter Cullum, Executive Chairman, Towergate
Tej Dhillon, Chairman and CEO, Dhillon Group
Philip Dilley, Chairman, Arup
Charles Dunstone, Chairman, Carphone Warehouse Group, TalkTalk Telecom Group
Warren East, CEO, ARM Holdings
Gordon Frazer, Managing Director, Microsoft UK
Sir Christopher Gent, Non-Executive Chairman, GlaxoSmithKline
Ben Gordon, Chief Executive, Mothercare
Anthony Habgood, Chairman, Whitbread, Chairman, Reed Elsevier
Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive, Tullow Oil
Neil Johnson, Chairman, UMECO
Nick Leslau, Chairman, Prestbury Group
Ian Livingston, CEO, BT Group
Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO, MITIE Group
Rick Medlock, CFO, Inmarsat; Non-Executive Director lovefilms.com, The Betting Group
John Nelson, Chairman, Hammerson
Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots
Nick Prest, Chairman, AVEVA
Nick Robertson, CEO, ASOS
Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman, Marks & Spencer
Tim Steiner, CEO, Ocado
Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO, Inmarsat
Michael Turner, Executive Chairman, Fuller, Smith and Turner
Moni Varma, Chairman, Veetee
Paul Walker, Chief Executive, Sage
Paul Walsh, Chief Executive, Diageo
Robert Walters, CEO, Robert Walters
Joseph Wan, Chief Executive, Harvey Nichols
Bob Wigley, Chairman, Expansys, Stonehaven Associates, Yell Group
Simon Wolfson, Chief Executive, Next

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