'New Government must now end years of uncertainty and encourage investment' say Warwickshire business leaders
Business leaders in region have urged Boris Johnson and the new Government to make restoring confidence and certainty in the UK economy a top priority.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said years of uncertainty had been a drag on growth and that it was time to deliver policies to encourage businesses to invest.
She said: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate all of the MPs in our region on being elected to serve this fantastic area and represent local people – and businesses – in Parliament.
“We have worked with the majority of them over many years and provide a voice for local business to our elected representatives – and that will continue.
“On a national level, Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have achieved a significant majority and this will see the UK leave the EU early in the New Year.
“We know that there are still different opinions on Brexit – but now we know it will be delivered it is absolutely vital that we leave with a deal and secure a very good trading
relationship with the EU in the future after a smooth transition.
“Aside from that, there is a huge amount to do on the domestic front. Only last week, we met with branch chairs and business leaders across Coventry and Warwickshire to discuss
what firms need to boost investment and increase confidence.
“It’s vital that the new Government listens to the needs of business in order to get stronger growth in our economy.”
Among the priorities are:
- To extend the £1 million Annual Investment Allowance
- To protect tax relief schemes that incentivise investment
- To reverse the reduction in the dividend allowance
- To launch a business-led review of the business rates system
- To introduce a moratorium on measures that increase costs to business
- To enable the British Business Bank to play a greater role in helping companies on the patch to invest.
- An increase in funding for apprenticeships to help small and medium-sized businesses to access training
- The Government to stop tinkering with the apprenticeship system.
- A long-term strategy and funding for lifelong learning to enable people to upskill, retrain and adapt to changes in the workplace.
- Local improvements to public transport to allow greater movement between different areas of Coventry and Warwickshire.
- A balance between improving the infrastructure across the region but also meeting commitments on carbon reduction.
- More land for employment in Coventry and Warwickshire to ensure that firms in the region have the space to grow but, also, that there is enough space to attract future inward investors.
- The UK must not leave the European Union without a deal and there must be a smooth transition period for firms to adapt.
- Money from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund needs to be directed to businesses and to projects that will generate economic growth.