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General election offers chance to restore UK resilience

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 24 May 2024

ICAEW urges political parties to focus on the actions needed to renew the economy and ensure the UK is the best place to start, run and grow a business.

Following the surprise announcement of a general election on 4 July, ICAEW is calling on political parties to adopt tangible measures that will boost productivity, support business growth and ensure the UK’s economic resilience.

At the start of 2024, ICAEW published its manifesto outlining a series of recommendations for the next government to create a UK economy that is productive, highly skilled, sustainable, innovative, resilient, trustworthy and leading on trade.

ICAEW’s Chief Executive, Alan Vallance, said: “The UK faces major decisions about the shape and direction of its future economy. We are at an important crossroads with digital technologies and the green transition presenting risks and opportunities for organisations across the country.

“ICAEW members tell us that certainty and stability are top priorities, and we hope our recommendations help whoever forms the next government to take the bold action necessary to restore resilience to the economy and bring about a renewal of business confidence.“

Boosting productivity and trade

Drawn on the expertise and experience of ICAEW members, who support millions of organisations, the manifesto calls for the revitalisation of support for start-ups, action to reduce the administrative burden of trade and a simplified, digital tax system.

To support new and growing businesses, measures recommended include:

  • the creation of business start-up passports, to streamline HMRC registrations;
  • the reintroduction of growth vouchers; 
  • a commitment to increase R&D spending beyond 3% of GDP; and
  • a regulation roadmap.

Meanwhile, ICAEW argues that to encourage investment into the UK, the next government must champion world-leading corporate governance, reporting and tackle economic crime.

Alongside making commitments to exceeding OECD corporate governance minimum standards, ICAEW recommends broadening reporting requirements for public interest entities and ensuring funding for a statutory regulator within the next parliament.

Embracing technology and sustainability

ICAEW also recommends the creation of strategies to ensure the UK can lead on sustainable technologies and embrace the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence (AI). 

Alongside an overarching UK skills strategy, ICAEW believes a specific plan is needed that focuses on technological competencies and artificial intelligence. An AI governance framework must also be created and clear guidance on digital assets, including on their valuation and audit.

Similarly, ICAEW believes that to grasp opportunities offered by the green transition, the next government must deliver a net-zero investment strategy within a transition plan for the whole economy.

The political parties need to ensure their goals are ambitious to drive change, with ICAEW suggesting a commitment to London becoming the world’s first net-zero, just and nature-positive financial centre.

Vallance urged ICAEW members to share the manifesto with local MPs and political party representatives. “These recommendations are based on our members’ knowledge and experiences. We hope that by bringing our thoughts together we can help to inform the forthcoming debates and party manifestos,” he said.

“Ultimately, we look forward to seeing the detailed policies the political parties would implement in government to achieve the economic resilience and renewal our members are calling for.” 

Spread the word

ICAEW’s recommendations to ensure the UK's resilience are based on the experiences of our members. Share them with your local MP or political party-representatives by email or social media using #ICAEWmanifesto.

Manifesto 2024: ICAEW's vision for a renewed and resilient UK

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