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ICAEW comments on government's levelling up white paper

Author: ICAEW

Published: 04 Feb 2022

4 Feb 2022: In response to the government’s levelling-up white paper, published today, Iain Wright, Managing Director, Reputation and Influence, ICAEW, said:

“It is right that the Government sees this agenda as a priority. Economic and social inequalities across the country are complex, deep-rooted and multi-faceted, and for a statement of intent designed to optimise and extend economic opportunity, it is encouraging to learn that the government expects the private sector to play a key role in growth.

“For lasting change in deprived areas, it’s critical the government engages effectively with the private sector, and chartered accountants can be part of this solution. They are strong business leaders and trusted business advisers who drive productivity improvements, competitiveness and innovation in their communities, as well as providing good jobs and enabling social mobility, but their contribution has also been overlooked. The accountancy profession as part of a wider professional and business services sector can be the bedrock of a modern local economy and add value by measuring and monitoring the progress and success of this mission.

“Government priorities tend to come with extra public spending. The White Paper fails to secure any additional investment that hasn’t already been announced. This will raise questions about whether the Government is really determined to level up and whether the much lauded ambitions will actually result in meaningful change.”