Bloomberg News

Branson Says U.K. Coalition Failing on Growth, Observer Reports

May 27, 2012

Richard Branson said the U.K.’s coalition government has failed to promote economic growth, The Observer reported, citing an interview with the chairman and founder of Virgin Group Ltd.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are the “engines” of a healthy economy, The Observer cited Branson as saying. Politicians’ talk of encouraging lending to such companies wasn’t matched by action, he said.

The U.K. must ease procedures for setting up businesses, reduce taxes and regulations, and focus on helping smaller companies, Branson said, according to the newspaper. Companies should be exempt from paying national insurance on new employees for the first two years, he said.

British schools should teach business and money-management skills as part of the national curriculum, Branson said, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Farey in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at

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