Contributed by Avison Young
17/02/2020 - CBI
Bold action on skills, net zero, innovation and infrastructure can kick-start new decade of growth & investment in the East of England said the CBI today after it sent a letter to the Chancellor outlining its key Budget asks for the region. The CBI has urged the government to put the ‘East of England at the heart of the Budget’ with a series of critical infrastructure asks.
The start of 2020 has seen a welcome lift in business confidence. This historic, first budget of a new decade offers the chance to turn rising optimism into a surge in investment across the UK. It is private sector investment that will lift productivity and enable all parts of the country to share in economic growth. Investment is also the key to building the East of England and the UK into a global innovation leader.
Business strongly welcomes the Chancellor’s vision to level up communities and lead the way in low-carbon energy and is committed to playing its full part. Private sector investment has fallen over the past couple of years. This Budget offers the opportunity to reverse this decline through pro-enterprise economic policy for the region.
To achieve this, the CBI recommends a set of practical steps for this Budget. Key proposals for the East of England include the following:
The UK’s business rates system puts many parts of the UK economy at a competitive disadvantage. A comprehensive review should reduce the bill on individual businesses. That review should be completed by year end to incentivise investment by firms across the UK.
Outline investment for big infrastructure projects like the A47 and improvements to the Ely North Junction.
Help promote further devolution in the region and offer a framework setting out clear guidelines to support the development of new deals and establish criteria for assessing deal proposals.
Innovation investment drives good jobs and global strength but is currently concentrated in the South. The UK should establish a network of high-end research hubs throughout the East of England to build on local strengths, develop low carbon zones and support innovation clusters.
Vital steps on the East of England path to a digital future. The CBI propose channelling digital infrastructure funding to hard to reach places throughout the East of England to support digital connectivity, and enable all parts of our region to reach their potential.
Commenting, CBI Regional Director for the East of England Richard Tunnicliffe said:
“At the start of this new decade, firms are feeling more optimistic and want to invest. The CBI is urging the Government to put all UK regions, at the heart of the upcoming budget. Our budget requests will create jobs, growth and investment throughout the East of England.
“This historic Budget offers the chance to turn rising optimism into a surge in investment across the UK. Backed by a pro-enterprise Budget for skills, infrastructure and innovation, business can help kickstart a new decade of UK growth and job creation.
“Trade policy will continue to matter, but with strong domestic policy, British firms are ready to invest and get the East of England into the fast lane of global economies.”
Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. The CBI’s corporate members together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees. Visit their website for further information.
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