Monday 4 January 2020.
Reacting to the Prime Minister this evening announcing another national lockdown, Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:
“With London already in a Tier 4 lockdown, our research shows that 2021 has started with business confidence at its lowest point since the financial crash in 2008. The Government must demonstrate through actions, not promises, that they will use this time wisely to put in place testing systems that will allow the economy to safely reopen once eased. The last lockdown failed to do that.
“The extension of the furlough scheme to the Spring was welcome, but it will remain a cliff edge as we get nearer, as are the end of the VAT and business rate relief periods. These must be extended. We also need to see an expansion of the grants programme delivered via councils, based on the number of businesses within a borough, rather than the number of residents.
“Government needs to understand that this is a London Marathon. You plan for the long-haul, you have feeding and water stations all along the way, and support after the finish line. The Treasury needs to produce their plan for this marathon. At the moment, they are absent on duty and London may fall as a consequence.”