National politics

That letter

This is the letter that appears today in the Telegraph from 35 business bosses backing the Coalition’s economic plans.

SIR – It has been suggested that the deficit reduction programme set out by George Osborne in his emergency Budget should be watered down and spread over more than one parliament. We believe that this would be a mistake.

Addressing the debt problem in a decisive way will improve business and consumer confidence. Reducing the deficit more slowly would mean additional borrowing every year, higher national debt, and therefore higher spending on interest payments.

The cost of delay would result in almost £100 billion of additional national debt by the end of this parliament alone. In the end, the result would be deeper cuts, or further tax rises, in order to pay for the extra debt interest.

The cost of delay could be even greater than this. As recent events in some European countries have demonstrated, if the markets lose faith in Britain, interest rates will rise for all of us.

There is no reason to think that the pace of consolidation envisaged in the Budget will undermine the recovery.

The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost in the public sector, and the redeployment of people to more productive activities will improve economic performance, so generating more employment opportunities.

So, each writing in our personal capacity, 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.

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,, Britvic
Peter Cullum
Executive Chairman, Towergate
Tej Dhillon
Chairman and CEO, Dhillon Group
Philip Dilley
Chairman, Arup
Charles Dunstone
Chairman, Carphone Warehouse Group
Chairman, 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
Rick Medlock
CFO, Inmarsat; Non-Executive Director, The Betting Group
John Nelson
Chairman, Hammerson
Stefano Pessina
Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots
Nick Prest
Chairman, AVEVA
Nick Robertson
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

7 replies on “That letter”

“The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost”.

It’s the word “should” that bothers me.

A lot of these people are retailers who source supplies from overseas. Why should I be impressed by what they say?

We need wealth creation through things like manufacturing or computing or pharmaceuticals etc. We don’t need yet more clothes or gadgetry unless they are made here, which now is is very unlikely. We need to spend far more on sustaining our future.

Why do I hear today that the Severn Estuary project is not supported? What did Tory Ealing Council do to increase sustainability? Why do we have to have 14,000 more dwellings with out jobs to go with them?



It is not reasonable to expect stronger language.

You ignore the GSK guy representing a £30 billion big pharma shop variously ranked 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the world depending on the value of the Pound. Also ARM guy – they put a microprocessor into the majority of the World’s mobile phones.



ARM trades on licences rather than manufacturing at home.

I repeat, the main point I make is about wealth creation within these shores.

I do not seek stronger language, but just pray for the right language.


Also Phil, on Newsnight the Federation of Small Businesses do not support the letter.

Small businesses are the cornerstone for growth. Hopefully that’s what yours is doing.


“A lot of these people are retailers who source supplies from overseas. Why should I be impressed by what they say?”

Because their companies employ many, many people in this country and generate a great deal of wealth (and the tax revenue on which the government depends)?

As Phil pointed out already, the list contains one of the biggest pharma players on earth, as well as several world-class computing/communications giants – and yes, ARM is a developer of high-value IP rather than low-value commodity manufacturing … that’s why they are successful.

“Why do I hear today that the Severn Estuary project is not supported?”

Because it was a suicidally stupid economic kamikaze concept without even the slightest shred of viability? £30,000,000,000.00 to deliver just under 5% of our electricity needs is absurd however you look at it.


Looking at this list I think that this letter is very bad. Many of the people who signed it run very bad companies that I personally have had bad experiences with or know people who have had bad experiences with them. Why do newspapers publish such rubbish from such bad people? Of the people who signed it:
Fuller Smith and Turner – I saw the staff including an old drunk man who I think ran the pub attack someone at the Red Lion pub near Ealing Green. A strange woman who runs the Castle pub near it was very rude to me.
Carphone Warehouse – A friend bought a broadband dongle from them on Ealing Broadway and it broke and they treated him terribly.
BT Group – they sold another friend of mine a BT broadband service promising it would be better and cheaer than his supplier. It was not and did not work well.
Marks and Spencer in Ealing, the staff are very rude and unhelpful.
Glaxo Smithkline is based in West London and has been in the newspapers a lot because of a drug they released that was killing people in America and had to be removed from the market. Ic ould continue but it is so depressing. Why should I take any notice of what such bad people are saying?


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