General Election 2024: London businesses call for swift policy action to secure growth

London, Monday 17 June 2024 – The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has today published its General Election Manifesto, which outlines the London business community’s key asks of the next Government ahead of the General Election on 4 July.

LCCI champions the interests of over 8,000 London businesses, and is acutely aware of the key policies needed to support the capital’s business community to thrive. The recommendations set out in its manifesto are of vital importance to parties committed to securing London’s, and by extension the UK’s, economic growth and prosperity.

The manifesto incorporates the aggregated insights of LCCI’s diverse membership base, providing a set of clear priorities that London’s business community expects the next government to address. Business leaders want to see policies that protect and support the capital’s businesses, enhance London’s international competitiveness, simplify and enable infrastructure and planning to lay the foundations for growth, address long term skills shortages, and foster greater innovation. They also advocate for increased devolution of power to London over transport, policing and economic policy.

LCCI’s manifesto outlines several areas of action, these include:

  • Reforming the business rates system to develop a longer-term plan which encourages business growth.
  • Reintroducing VAT free shopping for overseas visitors immediately.
  • Agreeing a long-term capital funding agreement with TfL which supports critical upgrades and extension to the transport network in London.
  • Reforming the National Planning Policy Framework to recognise the dual need for affordable housing and logistics space.
  • Reducing the complexity of the Apprenticeship Levy and boosting investment in skills.

To read the full manifesto, click here.

Alongside the manifesto, LCCI commissioned new polling data from a sample of 202 senior decision makers in London to gain a deeper understanding of their priorities for the next government. The data from this polling was undertaken between 6-7 June 2024 and collected online.

Karim Fatehi MBE, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, commented: “LCCI’s General Election manifesto calls on political parties of all stripes to adopt the policies businesses need to thrive and prosper.

“Businesses – the lifeblood of our communities and economy – need to see decisive action from the next Government, namely reform of VAT rules, provision of affordable housing, an overhaul of restrictive anti-growth planning processes, and the creation of a comprehensive skills and immigration system that is conducive to economic growth.

“In addition, we need to see parties make a concerted effort to engage with the business community, listen to their needs, and implement the changes necessary to foster a productive and strong working relationship between wealth creators, industry leaders, and policymakers.

“We look forward to engaging with all political parties in the run up to the election to ensure that London businesses are heard and that we achieve long-term, common-sense policy outcomes that lead to increased productivity across all sectors of our economy.”