Chamber calls on Boris to back business

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is calling on Boris Johnson’s new government to start listening to business.

We have sent a copy of  our Manifesto for Business to all six of the county’s newly-elected MPs.

It sets out our ask of the new government on Brexit, people and skills, infrastructure, international trade and business investment and costs.

Chamber Chief Executive Rob Johnston said: “With growth set to slow to 1.0 per cent next year, the Government must act to boost the confidence of businesses, consumers and investors.

“We want the new government to accelerate infrastructure projects, ramp-up assistance for exporters and, crucially, cut the upfront cost of doing business.”

He added: “Many businesses felt politicians weren’t listening to them during the election campaign. It’s time the politicians recognised that businesses create the wealth that generates tax revenues that pay for public services.

“When businesses thrive, people and communities thrive. We want to work constructively with the new government to ensure that businesses in Cumbria grow and prosper.”

The Chamber’s policy demands include:

  • Reform business rates and a moratorium on measures that increase costs for businesses;
  • Investment in transport infrastructure including roads, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail;
  • Increased funding for further education to boost skills and reverse the decline in apprenticeship starts;
  • An energy strategy to facilitate nuclear new build and realise potential for tidal power and offshore wind;
  • A flexible immigration system that allows Cumbrian businesses to recruit migrant workers after Brexit;
  • A tax credit to help exporters target new markets;
  • Extension of the £1m Annual Investment Allowance to encourage businesses to invest to boost productivity.

The new Conservative government is committed to leaving the EU in January, followed by a transition period to allow trade talks on the future trading relationship. It expects to conclude these talks by the end of next year.

Rob said: “The withdrawal agreement will allow trade to continue seamlessly during the transition period.

“It’s vital the Government negotiates a trade deal, even if it means extending the transition period beyond December 2020.

“We know from the work we’ve done with Cumbria businesses on Brexit preparedness that leaving the EU without a trade deal would be disruptive and damaging.

“The new Government must avoid that.”

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce