The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which represents 190,000 UK businesses, has called on Chancellor Sajid Javid to use the 2020 Budget on March 11th to support the UK’s regions.
The CBI outlined that as the start of 2020 has seen a surge in business confidence, Sajid Javid should use the opportunity to support investment across the whole of the UK and reverse the decline in private sector investment through a pro-enterprise economic policy.
The CBI put forward seven proposals it would like to see including in the Chancellor’s upcoming 2020 Budget. These include:
- Reviewing the business rates system, which currently puts some of the UK’s regions at a disadvantage
- A review of the Apprenticeship Levy to reduce complexity in supporting staff training
- Delivering HS2 and other regional transport and digital infrastructure projects
- Establishing Catapult Quarters in every UK region to ensure innovation is not limited to Southern England
- Accelerating ideas for an Advanced Research Project Agency
- Increasing the R&D tax credit to 13% to support private investment in research and innovation
- Announcing steps to bring the UK closer to net zero carbon emissions, including regulation on commercial property and investing in infrastructure for electric vehicle charging points
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, (pictured) said:
At the start of this new decade, firms are feeling more optimistic and want to invest. This historic Budget offers the chance to turn rising optimism into a surge in investment across the UK. Backed by a pro-enterprise Budget for skills, infrastructure and innovation, business can help kickstart a new decade of UK growth and job creation.
“And it is investment that will enable all regions of the UK to share in rising prosperity. It will put the UK on track to lead the world in innovation, clean growth and the industries of the future, from AI and robotics to agri-tech and life sciences.
“Trade policy will continue to matter, but with strong domestic policy, British firms are ready to invest and get the UK into the fast lane of global economies.”