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Let mayor know your views on economic plans

Like buses, draft strategies from the Mayor of London come in bunches and we now have his economic strategy, but the deadline to respond is 13 March 2018, says Malcolm Bacchus, President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants.

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February 2018

There are some controversial items in the strategy: the mayor will continue to lobby government to keep the UK in the single market or, if this is not possible, to offer employment guarantees to EU citizens, to remain in EU research programmes, to negotiate transitional arrangements for business and to retain a flexible approach to migration.

Read the draft

He also seeks to make a case for devolution of tax raising and spending powers to London and will lobby the government to reform business rates.

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Not all, one feels, will go down well with the government unless there is significant business support.

It remains up to us, as the citizens, business owners, employers or employees to support, or disagree, with these plans. Have a read, and tell him what you think.

The goals of the mayor’s long-term strategy are three-fold:

  • Opening up opportunities and creating a fairer society
  • Growth
  • Innovation

There is a focus on creating workspace, transport and infrastructure to support the economy and keep down the cost of living, which echoes what has been proposed in the previously published plans.

On employment practices, the mayor will work with businesses to promote model employment standards, asking them to adopt his Good Work Standard, and increase take-up of the London Living Wage. A separate Skills paper lays out plans to invest in new colleges, facilities and other spaces for learning.

The strategy also recognises a need to diversify London’s economy. In addition to financial and business services, it identifies a number of sectors where London already plays a leading role which should be capitalised on:

  • Advanced urban services such as architecture, property development, transport and engineering
  • Cultural and creative industries, including piloting Creative Enterprise Zones
  • Life sciences, building on the success of London universities and MedCity
  • Low carbon and environmental goods and services, in the light of his aim to make London carbon neutral by 2050
  • Tech and digital, particularly AI, FinTech and digital healthTourism

Malcolm Bacchus is President of the London Society of Chartered Accountants.

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