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Sir Digby 'disgusted' by collapse.

Outgoing CBI director general Sir Digby Jones said last night he was shocked by the collapse of Firmin & Sons.

The country's business leader visited the 329 year-old company's Newtown Row factory in November last year where he struck the first of 15,000 cap badges for the newly-created Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Sir Digby attacked the pensions debacle that led Firmin to call in administrators. "I am shocked to hear that this absolutely first class firm has been forced into administration," he said.

"Everything we talk about in terms of manufacturing companies innovating, developing brands and moving up the value added chain, Firmin has done.

"It is disgusting that a company should have been brought down by a judgement call on its pension scheme and a set of actuarial assumptions.

"The Government takes pounds 5.3 billion a year straight out of pension funds and has regulated private sector funds to hell and back.

"Now we have a Pensions Regulator who can tell a company trying to raise finance that it can do so provided it puts half the money into the pension fund.

"The Government has effectively nationalised mergers and acquisitions and it is no wonder that companies are having to go into administration."

CAPTION(S):

Picture, JEREMY PARDOE' Sir Digby Jones, retiring director general of the CBI, speaking at Deloittes in Brindleyplace yesterday afternoon was shocked by Firmin & Sons' collapse
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 12, 2006
Words:232
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