To move our country forward, we need economic growth to provide jobs and prosperity. Luckily, the professional and financial services of the Square Mile are here to help, writes Chris Hayward
The United Kingdom urgently needs economic growth, because a growing economy means more investment, more jobs, and more funding for public services.
Very few issues are more important to the country’s short-term wellbeing or long-term security than creating economic growth. If we can get the economy out of first gear and racing along, people and businesses will be in a better position to tackle the immediate cost-of-living crisis and be better prepared for challenges such as climate change.
So it’s no surprise that with politicians returning to Westminster today – and with a general election on the horizon – economic growth is top of the agenda.
Whether it’s Rishi Sunak and his “five priorities”, Keir Starmer and his “five missions”, or Ed Davey’s “fair deal”, all politicians have put economic growth at the heart of their pitch to the British people. It is a rare political consensus.
Recent YouGov polling shows that more than 80 per cent of Brits think that the economy has worsened over the past year. Crucially, the same polling shows that less than 20 per cent of us think the economy will improve over the next year.
Unless something drastic changes, the economy will drive the agenda and dominate the airwaves for the foreseeable future. As the election saying goes, “it’s the economy, stupid”.
The question facing us is how to make things better for people and business, and the answer is always the same: economic growth.
This Thursday, the City of London Corporation – having worked with over 300 partners across financial and professional services including business, regulators, and government – launches our response to these critical questions.
Our report “Vision for Economic Growth: A Roadmap to Prosperity” will outline how financial and professional services can spark economic growth across the country for the next decade and beyond.
Driven by five objectives that will strengthen our financial and professional services sector as a vehicle of jobs and prosperity, we can, and we will, support economic growth nationwide.
The report will set out how to ensure that high potential British firms can get the financing they need to succeed at home, how the UK can lead on the adoption of new technology, how to make sure the UK is the go-to partner globally on net zero and how we can take action to promote exports and trade.
Crucially, our roadmap is designed to be just that, a way forward that describes financial and professional services not as they are, but details their potential. With the right conditions, we can ensure that this sector – one that already contributes more than 2.5 million jobs and £100bn in tax revenues – can contribute even more.
Whether it’s ensuring better returns on our pensions, better funding for businesses, or better financing for green infrastructure, our financial services can build tomorrow’s economy, today.
The City Corporation has a strong convening power to bring people together. Working in partnership with politicians across the spectrum, the public sector, industry, and trade associations we have a real opportunity to shape the direction of our country for years to come. It’s an opportunity for a better, brighter, and more prosperous future. And it’s an opportunity we must take.