Business leaders set out plan for Covid-19 recovery

Ten of the UK’s top business leaders have created the National Prosperity Plan to boost growth, living standards and ensure the UK can develop world beating industries and support people as they recover from the pandemic and transition to the jobs of the future

The Ambition 2030: A Partnership for Growth is a 10-year blueprint for action published by business leaders including chairs and chief executives representing the likes of Tesco, AstraZeneca, Vodafone, and Royal Dutch Shell has been put forward to the government.

The report proposes the introduction of a national prosperity scorecard to measure ‘levelling up’ against a set of social as well as economic indicators, a help to train scheme to halve the projected skills deficit by 2030 and a national deal for net zero homes including a call on government to retrofit every council house in the UK.

The National Prosperity Plan will also help create globally competitive industries in every part of the UK, deliver on the government’s net zero commitments and reduce the economic and social inequalities that have widened as a result of the pandemic.

The report argues that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a bigger impact on the economy than any event in the last 300 years with the report revealing that the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities with unemployment, mortality rates and mental health cases rising fastest in the most deprived communities across the UK. It also shows that 18% of the most deprived people in the UK are living in local authorities with the highest economic output.

John Allan, chair of the Covid Recovery Commission: ‘A national prosperity scorecard will be key to evaluating the success or failure of local plans to level up communities. By looking beyond purely economic measures, it could also act as a vital warning light for local communities. Measures on the scorecard should include issues which are important to families such as mental and physical health, community resilience and transport connectivity. They should be set by central government but then it should be up to local leaders to drive local action.’

The final report, authored by WPI Economics, is the culmination of 10 months’ work, where the group consulted over 100 public policy specialists, academics, business groups as well as representatives from the devolved nations and each of the eight combined mayoral authorities.

The report includes a package of further policy recommendations including: a commitment to develop a Great British supply chain, a help to train scheme to assist in halving the projected skills gap by 2030, a national deal for net zero homes and the creation of a new community infrastructure endowment fund to match-fund business investment in communities and the introduction of a wellbeing at work guarantee.

The report sets out the case for a new compact between purpose-led business, government and civic leaders to deliver real and lasting change in every part of the country.

Tom Keith Roach, chief executive of AstraZeneca UK said: ‘Our response to Covid-19 has shown the vital importance of collaboration between purpose-led business, government, academia and regulators in delivering an urgent, ambitious national agenda on behalf of the British people. It’s clear we now need to align and unleash all our strength behind a new national imperative to build a stronger, fairer and more resilient economy whilst accelerating our move to net zero.’

Ruby Flanagan |Reporter, Accountancy Daily

Ruby Flanagan is reporter on Accountancy Daily. Contact her on ruby.flanagan@croneri.co....

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