City of London Corporation response to the Autumn Statement 2014
Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alan Yarrow, said:
“The UK’s financial and professional services firms have a crucial role to play in delivering the jobs and sustainable growth we need. Many are headquartered in the City of London, but they employ over two million people across the country.
“I recently visited Manchester and Liverpool, whose business leaders are part of a powerful economic force outside the M25 that needs to be harnessed. HS3 – the east-west rail link – was the number one priority for these leaders, so pledges to improve the transport infrastructure for the UK’s ‘northern powerhouses’ are of paramount importance.
“The City of London is an international financial centre which serves business centres throughout the UK. A strong and successful London, means a strong and successful UK. Next week, when visiting India with a delegation of senior British business leaders, I will champion the unique capabilities, experience and expertise of firms across the UK. With the economy now on a sustainable footing, the City’s duty remains to create wealth, give time and support people."
Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said:
“The pipeline of infrastructure investments announced by the Chancellor today are a strong step in helping secure the future of our economy. If we are to compete effectively on the global stage, the UK must be well connected by not only high-quality infrastructure, but also be equipped with a skilled workforce to deliver this. A series of investment projects is a necessity to avoid the skills of a generation being lost. I hope this marks the next step in a new, more engaged approach to the UK’s infrastructure needs.
Financial services industry:
“The financial services industry is continuing to make an extremely stable and significant contribution to the wider economy, paying £65.6bn into the UK’s Exchequer last year, 11.5% of the government’s total tax take, as shown by our research published yesterday - a figure that is higher than last year’s take and close to pre-crisis levels of tax contribution. The vast majority of UK companies pay their taxes and benefit from the services these taxes provide. The move by the Chancellor to ensure a level playing field in taxation across corporations is welcome; the free market only functions when everyone is playing by the same rules.”
“The £900 million of extra funding for small businesses is particularly welcome. The City is home to nearly 15,000 SMEs and they are the engine of our economy and have powered our recovery through innovation. Access to finance is essential for ensuring that we can continue to lead the world on technology innovation.”
“Business rates reform has been a key issue for the business community since the advent of internet retailing. It will ensure that businesses are competing on a level playing field in a market that is fair to everyone. Fair taxation is a crucial part of this and we welcome a review into business rates. However, the devil is as always in the detail and we must ensure that innovative online companies are not penalised either.”
“Giving young people the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s economy is crucial to ensuring that our country maintains its economic recovery. Apprenticeships are at the heart of this picture, and this is a strong step in the right direction to reducing the burden of youth unemployment and giving young people a career of their choice.”