“This is a time to be bold”: BCC sets out principles for safe restart of UK economy
British Chambers of Commerce President, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister setting out principles for a phased restart of the UK economy.
The leading business group set out its integrated approach, the first step in a three-stage process,as the government prepares to ease initial lockdown restrictions.
The letter reads: “The fight against the virus must remain the top priority, but the planning and communication of a carefully phased approach to lifting lockdown must begin immediately if we are to harness the public health and economic benefits, both now and in the future.”
Praising the work of Chambers of Commerce across the UK as the “first responders” of the business world, the letter is accompanied by detailed policy proposals for safely reopening the economy, comprising steps to:
- Safely reopen public spaces and restore services (including schools and public transport)
- Safely reopen workplaces and commercial spaces
- Minimise job losses and business failures
- Rebuild supply chains and customer bases; and
- Put the UK economy on a high-growth, high-wage and low unemployment trajectory as soon as possible
The letter continues:“This is a time to be bold. Government should not shy away from sustaining high levels of public spending in order to restart and renew our communities and the economy in the short and medium-term, while not tying the hands of future generations.
“An expansionary fiscal policy, including a commitment to transformative infrastructure investment, will be needed in order to generate the returns that will help to pay down the national debt in the longer-term.
“We see the journey ahead as having three phases:
- Restart: a phased reopening of the economy
- Rebuild: building resilience for firms and households
- Renew: returning to prosperity and growth