Next Government Must Use First 100 Days To Revitalise ‘Brand Britain’

The CBI’s Business Manifesto, shaped by input from over 400 business leaders and 70 Trade Associations, has mapped out the steps the next Government can take to redefine the UK’s growth trajectory and place the UK firmly on a sustainable path.

As public spending is squeezed and monetary policy is likely to remain tight, growth across the next Parliament will come squarely off the back of the private sector. With capital in no short supply, and the UK in a global race for investment, the defining challenge for the new Government’s first 100 days will be to develop a credible plan to crowd in private sector investment and deliver sustainable growth.

Key recommendations include: 

Revitalise the investor pitch for ‘Brand Britain’: 

• Launch a cutting-edge trade and investment strategy – increasing UK exports, securing imports, and growing investment, to maximise the UK’s competitive advantage, growth and productivity, boosting employment

• Deliver a Net Zero Investment Plan – secure the UK’s standing as world-leader on green growth, fostering investment opportunities so firms want to invest and grow in the UK. Success can create jobs, provide greater energy security and efficiency, lower energy costs, increase tax receipts, fund public services and help avert a climate emergency

• Unlock the power of UK regions – Aligning UK industrial and trade strategy with the transformative role of UK Mayors, via a new industry-partnered Mayoral Economic Compact launching on 17 July 2024

Build momentum within the first 100 days on the ‘big three’ enablers for investment: 

• Build a tax environment that drives investment – develop a long-term UK Business Tax Roadmap to deliver a simplified and digitised business tax system with international competitiveness at its heart

• Transform the planning system – speed up decisions and cut bureaucracy with a UK-wide Planning for Growth Strategy, and prioritise grid connections

• Boost the labour market & productivity – by expanding tax-free occupational health support to incentivise business investment in early workforce health interventions, helping prevent employees leaving the labour market, and extending the Made Smarter programme to all sectors, giving firms the support and funding they need to grow

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI CEO, said:
“The UK economy has spent the last five years buffeted by a series of ‘one-off’ shocks – from the aftermath of Brexit, to Covid, to global conflict and the subsequent energy crisis. As a result, our economy has understandably focused more on shock absorption than on boosting growth.

“Firms can now see some bright spots emerging in the UK economy. But the challenges are persistent: sluggish productivity growth, underperforming business investment compared to our international counterparts, and ongoing labour and skills shortages.

“A new Government of whatever colour provides an opportunity to shift gear and prioritise the long-term decisions that can deliver a decade of sustainable growth.

“Top of the in-tray should be sharpening the investor pitch for ‘Brand Britain’ – ensuring we are at the very top of the league table when it comes to investment. At the same time, a focus on building momentum behind the ‘big three’ enablers across tax, planning and the labour market within the first 100 days can give firms a clear flightpath for growth.

“We want to see a new Government deliver a bold pitch to investors across the globe, restore the UK’s competitiveness, and double down on our climate commitments and opportunities.”