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UK PM seeks job pledge from businesses

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David Cameron

Private sector bosses will promise on Monday to create thousands of jobs, boosting Prime Minister David Cameron’s hopes that business will be able to pick up the slack from a shrinking public sector, his office said.

Cameron will meet leaders of businesses ranging from construction to retail, hotels, manufacturing, technology and oil.

The coalition government wants to avoid recession by stimulating business to get Britain growing again and rebalance the economy away from the public sector where many jobs will be lost this year.

“Across a whole range of areas you’re going to see the most pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda ever unleashed by a government,” Cameron said in a statement.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s austerity measures will start to bite fully this year — the first of a four-year plan to slash departmental spending by about a fifth and hike taxes across the board.

Critics fear the heavy cuts in the public sector will derail the country’s recovery, plunging it back into recession.

But Cameron has defended his plan to almost eliminate the budget deficit, now running close to 10 percent of national output, by the time of the next election in 2015, and wants the private sector to take up the strain.

The economy has bounced back fairly well from an 18-month recession but economists have questioned whether the private sector has the confidence or capability to seal a strong recovery on its own.

Some surveys have revealed a gloomy end to 2010 and analysts and opposition Labour politicians have warned the austerity measures will hamper recovery in 2011, especially given an ongoing crisis in Europe, Britain’s biggest export market.
Source: Reuters

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