CONSULTATION RESPONSE: Economic Recovery and Levelling Up the UK
We were delighted to be invited to join the working group on ‘levelling up’ economic performance across the UK to advise Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, at such a critical time for our economy and our society.
SCDI is proud to be making the voice of our members heard at the heart of government.
As well as participating in the working group’s discussions, we have responded to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s call for written evidence.
Our response notes that, as we look to build a strong recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever that the UK Government and the Scottish Government work together, as well as in partnership with businesses and organisations across the private, public and third sectors, to deliver prosperity for everyone, everywhere. Inequalities between communities and regions must not be allowed to widen.
Our response therefore calls for the UK Government to:
- Identify and accelerate ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects to kick-start economic activity, stimulate the construction sector and create new jobs, with a focus on clean growth priorities like active travel, low- and zero-carbon transport and digital connectivity.
- Release City Region Deal and Growth Deal funding quickly and accelerate the agreement of new Deals to cover every region and community of Scotland.
- Provide urgent clarity and reassurance to business and negotiate a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU which will sustain a strong future partnership based on free, fair and frictionless trade and maintaining key standards which protect consumers, workers and the environment, and underpin reciprocal access to markets.
- Support laid-off workers in crisis-hit sectors to transition to new jobs and invest in reskilling, upskilling and lifelong learning, especially for young people.
- Substantially enhance the Scottish Government’s ability to invest in an economic stimulus for recovery by increasing its borrowing powers through the Fiscal Framework.
You can download the full response below.