THE BLOG

Six Things The Government Could Do To Boost Our Economy

11/08/2017 12:36 BST | Updated 11/08/2017 12:36 BST
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Despite the climate of flux and uncertainty over Brexit we need to convey to the rest of the world that we are a dynamic pro-business country open for business and a magnet for the best entrepreneurial talent.  

 

Governments of all persuasions would always do well to remember it's the businesses and entrepreneurs that create the jobs and wealth in an economy that lead to the taxes that fund our public services.

 

It's why securing an environment that allows businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish must be one of the central planks of Brexit negotiations.

 

But with negotiations likely to take some time, below are six areas that the government could pursue domestically now to give businesses and our economy a boost during the period of uncertainty ahead.

 

Broadband

The fact is superfast broadband provision still remains too patchy across the country and it can take a scandalous amount of time to get a connection set up in a new business premise.  This is being felt especially acutely in rural areas. We need to be tough on providers that promise fast speeds but fail to deliver. The government should formally classify broadband as a fourth utility and force the market to open up to more competition.

 

Rate relief

The last government helped small businesses by introducing and extending small business rates relief and the employment allowance on National Insurance contributions. The government should guarantee to keep these going through this parliament to 2022.

 

Digital curriculum

It has never been easier to set up a website and start selling and marketing products online. We should ensure all our youngsters have the basic digital skills needed to succeed in the modern world by making digital literacy a core part of the curriculum. Being able to code will soon be as important as being able to read and write.

 

Alternative finance

With uncertain economic waters ahead, we could well see banks take a more cautious approach to lending. The government must continue to ensure a favourable regulatory and tax regime for the alternative lending space. If liquidity dries up the knock on effect to business confidence could lead to a massive slowdown in the economy.

 

Exports

As we enter a post-EU world, support to help businesses export into new markets will be vital and should be one of the prime functions of the Department for Business. 

 

Start a company in 24 hours

For many the perception that starting a business means grappling with endless bureaucracy and regulation puts them off. The government should make it possible to start a company in 24hours. Small businesses are the heartbeat of the economy. We need to do more to push up their numbers.

 

A pro-business, pro-entrepreneurial domestic agenda is vital to help our economy grow and put us in the strongest possible position to conduct negotiations with Europe.  The pace of change in the business world is getting faster and faster. All our competitors are moving at breakneck speed. If we stand still there will be devastating consequences for our economy.