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London in danger of flattening, warn major business groups Rishi Sunak




A coalition of powerful business groups has asked the chancellor to outline strict support measures for the capital after they warned of London’s dangers of mitigating the pandemic.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak, leaders of groups representing more than 6,000 businesses including Heathrow Airport, Ritz and Fortnum & Mason, said the closure months had disproportionately damaged the capital.

Read more: Cases of coronavirus in London fall to 1 in 100 as the blockage makes its mark

The letter, signed by leaders from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the London Local Chambers of Commerce and the Central London Alliance, called on the chancellor to draw up a Marshall Plan for London’s economic recovery.

They warned that nearly a year of closures and the lack of a path to recovery have created a genuine sense of despair among workers and business owners alike.

Business leaders urged the chancellor to open a range of support measures alongside his Spring Budget on March 3, including an extension of the enterprise scheme beyond April.

They also urged Sunak to hold current business rate holidays at least until March 2022, postpone tax holiday deadlines and increase the level of grants to better reflect the high costs of doing business in London.

The letter also called for targeted assistance to sectors that have remained closed since last March, such as a promise to cover the cost of canceling the event if further restrictions are ordered, theater tax relief and expanded rate relief. business for airports.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “As we seek to recover from this pandemic, we need the government to be loud and proud of London and the role it plays both nationally and globally. both the capital economies and the country are inextricably linked.

Allowing London to flatten will not help elevate the rest of the UK. A thriving London is the main and essential way to help set up regions that are in dire need of help.

It comes as the mayor of London this morning called on the government to appoint a minister dedicated to reopening the economy.

Ministers still need to understand that many businesses remain at a crisis point, Sadiq Khan said.

He warned that plans to end business rate and VAT holidays in March and then the enterprise scheme in April create a huge financial advantage for employers.

Data released earlier this week by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed earlier that heavy hospitality capital has suffered the largest job losses of any region in the UK during the pandemic.

Read more: City of London Corporation places culture at the heart of recovery

The number of London employees on payroll fell 5.5 per cent between February and December last year, according to IFS almost double the figure recorded in Scotland, which saw the second highest number of job losses.

The think tank warned that job losses could continue to be faced as the start-up scheme opens. The capital had the highest level of frantic workforce at the end of last year, with about 10 per cent of London’s workforce still in operation in December, compared with eight per cent in the rest of the UK.

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