Keeping our capital working for the UK

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London First submission to 22 June Budget (15 June 2010)

In a letter to the Chancellor ahead of the Mansion House speech, influential business group London First has urged the Government to put international competitiveness at the heart of every measure it takes to tackle the deficit.

The call comes after a London First survey showed that over three quarters of businesses in the capital believe that doing business in London is getting harder.

Issues surrounding competitiveness formed the key concerns for businesses. Uncertainty over tax and regulation, negative attitudes towards the City, and a lack of understanding of the key role played by financial services in the economy, were all highlighted as harming London’s current international standing.

In its budget submission, London First outlines a number of key areas which the Government needs to address, including:

  • a predictable, consistent and stable tax framework
  • an internationally competitive tax regime, in terms of corporate and personal taxes
  • efficiencies in the public sector, helped by drawing upon private sector expertise
  • a credible, consistently applied framework for prioritising cuts, targeting spending with marginal impacts
  • protecting infrastructure investment which provides capacity for growth.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, which represents many of the capital’s leading private sector employers, said:

“The scale of the challenge facing Government means that spending cuts and tax increases are inevitable. But the cuts must be clever. London and the UK’s competitiveness must be at the centre of every decision.If more tax rises are needed, they should be focused on broad based and indirect taxes where small changes raise big amounts and have minimal effect on competitiveness

“By creating a stable and competitive tax framework and prioritising public spending to make efficiency savings, the Government will ensure that the deficit is tackled with minimum damage to London and the UK’s long term economic growth.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

London First letter to the Chancellor ahead of the Mansion House speech and 22 June Budget

London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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