Wednesday 18th March 2015
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry responds to Chancellor's Budget announcements
Commenting on Chancellor George Osborne's Budget announcement today, Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: "We welcome the Chancellor's announcement of retention of 100% of additional business rates revenue for Manchester, this is a vital step in the direction of greater devolution.
"The Chancellor said that his door is open to other regions looking for greater power over local finances. London has been knocking on the door of HM Treasury for years, calling for tax and spend capabilities in London to be devolved to the Mayor and London boroughs and today we renew that call.
"Our recent polling suggests that more than half of Londoners (55%), 72% of London businesses and 90% of London councillors are in favour of business rates to be retained by London government*, so we urge the Government to act on this and enact the recommendations of the London Finance Commission to extend the devolution deal for London.
"On the promised review of the outmoded business rates regime, we continue to call for this rhetoric to be transformed into reality. This issue is too important to businesses large and small to be kicked into the long-grass and we look forward to hearing the outcomes of this review.
"On housing, the Help to Buy ISA scheme will be welcomed across the country, helping people to get a foot on the property ladder, however in London we urgently need to address chronic under-supply of properties. We therefore welcome the Chancellor's commitment to establishing the London Land Commission to create a Domesday Book of Brownfield and surplus publicly-owned land in the capital, which we have long called for.
"The Chancellor was right when he said that you cannot build up the rest of the UK by dragging London down. We must secure a sustainable source of funding for the capital so that London can continue to drive the economic prosperity of the whole country."
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
- Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.
- * ComRes undertook the polling for LCCI and interviewed:
- 1,051 London adults online between 27th and 29th January 2015. Data was weighted to be representative of all London adults aged 18+.
- ComRes interviewed 503 London business decision makers online between 29th January and 16th February 2015. Data was weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector.
- 150 London councillors online between 27th January and 17th February 2015. Data was weighted to be representative of all London councillors by party and broad region.
- All data tables can be found on the ComRes website: http://comres.co.uk/polls/lcci-london-tomorrow-survey/
- ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.