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London Mayor urged by business to tackle cost of living crisis

Monday 16 January 2023

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, was urged to do even more to tackle London’s cost of living crisis.

In response to the Greater London Authority (GLA) consultation on the Mayor’s draft budget, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) called on the Mayor to tackle a series of issues – from reforms to the ULEZ vehicle scrappage scheme through to the need for more flexible and agile adult education programmes for London job seekers.

LCCI highlighted how the cost of living crisis has led to a cost of doing business crisis. In the latest LCCI survey, one-third (33%) of London businesses said cashflow fell in the previous three months, compared to 24% who said cashflow had risen. After rising quickly as Covid-19 restrictions were pared back, businesses are seeing a sharp slowdown in the growth of sales, which is impacting their bottom line.

In response to this crisis, LCCI called for major reform of the ULEZ vehicle scrappage scheme before the roll out of the road charging scheme across the capital in August to make it easier for small firms to change from diesel to electric vehicles. The Mayor was also urged to tackle the skills crisis in London – where businesses are finding it difficult to fill vacancies – by ensuring agile, flexible learning programmes were provided for Londoners.

Other proposals presented to the Mayor included:

  • Clearer details on meeting equalities objectives
  • Better use of GLA-business partnerships to lever additional funds for the GLA
  • Metropolitan Police to be clearer in their focus against business crime
  • Improvement in procurement practices to help micro firms and SMEs

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive, Richard Burge, said:

“We are facing a cost of living crisis that has meant, for too many Londoners, a choice is being made as to when to eat and when to heat their homes. For London businesses, especially micro firms and SMEs, we also have a cost of doing business crisis. Whilst we agree with the Mayor that the challenges facing London are immense we urge the Greater London Authority to be even more ambitious for our city. This includes ensuring a joined up approach to tackling endemic discrimination and poverty which has bedevilled some communities for too many generations, a new approach to skills provision to take account of the very significant devolved powers that the Mayor has, a greater focus on business crime and to ensure that any move towards widening ULEZ does not mean that small businesses will suffer during the cost of doing business crisis”.

You can read the submission here