Business rates, devolution, regional growth and housing all on agenda in CBI Westminster talks
The CBI engages with the Lord Mayor, meets with the Communities and Local Government Secretary to discuss business rates, and presents to Labour backbench MPs on regional growth.
CBI President, Paul Drechsler, met with the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, to discuss a number of issues including business rates, devolution, regional growth and housing. On business rates in particular, Paul made the point that, whilst the CBI welcomes the steps taken in the Spring Budget to reduce the burden, disproportionate rises remained a barrier to entrepreneurship.
CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn met with the Lord Mayor, Andrew Parmley, to discuss a number of areas, including Brexit and regional growth. On regional growth, the Lord Mayor spoke about his focus on promoting education to increase prosperity in deprived areas, reflecting a key finding of the CBI’s regional growth project which demonstrated that education and skills is by far the most important driver of productivity.
The CBI’s Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, delivered a presentation on the CBI’s regional growth work to Labour Parliamentarians in the House of Commons. With attendees including former Ministers Caroline Flint MP, Rosie Winterton MP and Ben Bradshaw MP, the briefing provided a great opportunity to discuss the CBI’s findings. There was great interest amongst the attendees in the CBI’s recently released regional scorecards, with a number of MPs voicing their desire to see a larger share of transport infrastructure funding spent outside of London. A number of Parliamentarians also spoke of how poor transport infrastructure in their area had meant that some local firms struggled to fill skills shortages. Read the CBI’s full regional growth report.
Finally, the first two CBI mayoral candidate hustings have taken place in Teesside and Manchester. In association with law firm Irwin Mitchell, the CBI hosted all the main election candidates to debate the top issues for both areas, before the elections on 4th May. With over 150 attendees at the hustings, which also served as an opportunity for the CBI to introduce its new interactive regional scorecards, the events were a huge success. Read about the Manchester hustings in the Manchester Evening News.
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