London,
22
November
2017
|
17:04
Europe/Amsterdam

Policy Chairman, Catherine McGuinness responds to the 2017 Budget

Responding to the 2017 Budget, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said:

Brexit

“The extra £3 billion for Brexit preparations that the Chancellor has committed to over the next two years is a welcome development. This will help in making sure the UK is as prepared as possible for any eventuality resulting from the negotiations.

“However, the City is clear in what we want to see from the negotiations – mutual market access through a free trade deal which includes financial services, clarity on a transitional deal by the end of the year, and more information on how we will continue to attract the brightest and best workers to the UK.

“We need this because of the financial and professional services sector’s importance to the economy. Any damage to job creation or growth prospects will impact on the 2.2 million jobs in the sector across the country and the £72 billion it pays in tax each year. On the latter point here this figure will be updated next week in our Total Tax Report which encompasses the tax revenues paid by the financial services sector.

“The City’s attention will now turn to December’s EU Council summit for any hint on what sort of deal we are going to get. ”

Housing

“The Chancellor is right to suggest that we are facing a crisis of housing affordability and supply, which is impacting on business and the wider economy. In London this issue is especially acute and it acts as a deterrent in attracting workers.

“The commitment to build 300,000 new homes each year by the mid-2020s is a welcome development, as is an urgent review as to why such a large number of planning applications are not followed through.

“Local authorities have a central role to play through their enabling role, their local plans and the formation of constructive partnerships. National policy changes to enable the market to supply more homes are also necessary.

“The City of London Corporation, despite its small residential population, is doing all it can to help with this issue and will deliver 3,700 new homes on sites across the capital. New homes should be of mixed tenures, designed to house families on a range of incomes and deliver the diversity of skills and labour required by the capital.

“The City of London’s position as the leading financial hub would be severely damaged if people, and especially the young, are forever priced out of the housing market.”

Fintech / SMEs

“The UK’s fintech sector is no longer the ‘new kid on the block’. It is an established industry in its own right, a sector that generated around £6.6bn in revenue in 2015 and attracted approximately £524m in investment in the same year.

“The UK employs more people in fintech than New York or Silicon Valley and Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia combined, thanks, in part, to the Government’s support in things such as the regulatory sandbox.

“It is great to hear that the Chancellor recognises the importance of growing this sector, and we look forward to working with parliamentarians to ensure the UK retains the title as the leading fintech hub of the world.

“The Chancellor was correct to call small businesses the backbone of Britain, and with nearly 99% of the Square Mile’s 18,000 businesses classified as SMEs I look forward to the new British Business Bank fund, seeded with £2.5bn of public money, which will provide vital support to growing, entrepreneurial companies.”

ENDS