Our Response to the March 23 Budget Announcement
Bill Addy, CEO Liverpool BID Company
“The government has announced a series of headlines today that could dramatically change the economic development of Liverpool. As a city, Liverpool’s strength has come from its commercial activity that acts as an engine fuelling the city’s economy. Over the past two decades, we have transformed the public realm, improved the connectivity between businesses and ensured that those who make decisions on investment have a seat at the table.
While we have not seen the small print yet we welcome Liverpool’s investment zone, but we have questions to ask that will help ensure it positively impacts on the city and its economy. Investment needs to be place led, not sector led and it must build on the strengths of the city centre economy. Bold and imaginative partnerships need to include businesses who develop and deliver on so many of our economic objectives.
It is critical that we do not pit sector against sector but instead look at an investment strategy that benefits the whole ecosystem, not simply a corner of it. We need to ensure real benefits are felt by those who are already investing in the area, business taxes, rates retention as well as skills and regeneration should all be ingredients in any local plan.
We await news on the future of the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership and would ask that business is part of any proposed plan. Collaboration and the voice of business has been a crucial aspect of this helping to ensure the city’s high growth economies have been able to guide policy.”
In terms of taxation, we cannot ignore that while the UK may not enter a technical recession in 2023, the cost of living crisis for households and business is not eased. Recovery does not just mean surviving, it means enabling business to thrive, not just breaking even each month. This is what growth looks like.
While there is some welcome news on tax reduction for those businesses that invest, we call again for a complete examination of business rates and how this impacts the cost of doing business. We are delighted the government has finally recognised the value of an inclusive strategy that supports both older people and those with young families. The more we support those who power our economy, the better we are able to benefit from it.