London First, a UK based not-for-profit, business campaigning group, has called on the UK Government to throw its weight behind London’s recovery with a clear plan of action to ensure the capital can play its role in accelerating the UK’s economic revival, while addressing its own levelling up challenges.
In a comprehensive report; Central Government’s role in helping London drive recovery, drawing on analysis from Bain & Company, the capital’s leading business group sets out a costed plan which could yield £8 – 12 bn in additional tax receipts by 2023 if a series of no-regret actions are adopted, including appointing a senior Recovery Minister, on a similar footing to Nadhim Zahawi’s role as Vaccines Minister, to drive this forward. These include:
- A vigorous, large scale campaign to bring people back to central London (costing approximately £170m in incremental spend over three years);
- Investment in public transport that supports the return to growth, including a long-term sustainable funding solution for Transport for London (approximately £1.2 – 1.5bn in forgone savings / revenue over three years); and
- A business-led reskilling programme (£10m incremental cost over three years), to support those whose jobs have been displaced by the pandemic, including a new London Careers Service.
These interventions could yield a benefit of £25 – 35bn in GVA between 2021 – 2023, paying for themselves many times over.