The British Chambers of Commerce is calling for urgent action from politicians to stimulate economic growth across the UK. Among the key asks are:
- Better planning for business so that firms are not squeezed out of towns and cities.
- Introduction of flexibility in the apprenticeship levy to support everyone in the workplace.
- Strengthened UK-EU co-operation to increase bi-lateral investment levels.
- Dramatic energy grid upgrades to ensure there is sufficient network capacity to meet modern needs.
The action plan is published in a new report to MPs of all parties ‘The Power Of British Business: A Framework For The Future’. It outlines 16 of the BCC’s key policy asks on economic growth, skills and employment, trade and net-zero.
Following three years of economic shocks, latest BCC research shows that more than three quarters of businesses are not increasing investment. Companies are also telling the BCC that inflation and interest rates continue to be major pressures.
The plan outlines a framework for collaborative working between business and politicians. It stresses that public sector projects must not crowd out private investment. Instead, the BCC is calling for pragmatism from politicians so that business can grow.
David Hooper, (pictured) External Affairs Director for Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: “The economy thrives when business and politicians work in partnership. Unlocking the power of British business gets the economic growth which benefits everyone.
“A better planning system, a flexible apprenticeship levy, strengthened UK-EU co-operation and a dramatic grid upgrade – are all needed urgently.
“All too often businesses are squeezed out of towns and cities like Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe, as good land is given over to housing. Local communities thrive when businesses are at their heart. Those businesses need skilled workers, and a flexible apprenticeship levy will make sure employers can give staff the training they need.
“The European Union remains our closest trading partner. We need to see UK-EU relations strengthened to benefit the Humber’s exporters.
“The transition to net-zero presents businesses with opportunities to grow. But access to the national grid is a huge headache for trailblazing companies. We need to make sure there is sufficient network capacity and flexibility for modern energy needs.
“Action on these key issues will make a dramatic difference to the businesses we represent.
“Our region’s firms need action, certainty and clarity from politicians – now more than ever.”