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Back to Business: Chamber manifesto for the general election

The manifesto from Yorkshire & Humber Chambers of Commerce for the next general election.

The Business Manifesto, titled Back to Business, contains 74 policy recommendations and has been produced by the seven Chambers of Commerce across Yorkshire & Humber to help all political parties and parliamentary candidates understand the key priorities of the region’s businesses.  It was launched on 22 September 2009.

Specific policy recommendations include:

Supporting economic growth

  • A moratorium on new employment legislation during the course of the Parliament.
  • Scrapping the proposed rise in employers National Insurance Contributions set for 2011.
  • Abolishing the planned rise in small business corporation tax.
  • Reducing public spending with no area “off limits”, including the NHS.
  • Reforming unaffordable public sector pension provision.
  • Scrapping the ability of local councils to introduce workplace parking levies.

Turning round Yorkshire & Humber’s record on skills

  • Incentivising businesses to train their staff through tax breaks.
  • A simplification programme for the endless training and skills initiatives and quangos.
  • A ‘basic skills pledge’ signed by every school in the region.
  • Support to get businesses into schools via enterprise education.

Closing Yorkshire’s productivity gap by investing in the region’s infrastructure

  • Giving Yorkshire & Humber a fair deal on transport funding.
  • Putting the region on the map for both trans-pennine and north-south high speed rail lines.
  • Increasing capacity of Yorkshire & Humber’s key motorway, trunk road and rail corridors to prepare for future growth.
  • Rolling out high speed broadband across the region.
  • Developing Yorkshire & Humber as a centre of UK low carbon energy production including carbon capture.

Shifting power and funding from Whitehall into Yorkshire & Humber

  • Retaining an explicit commitment to reduce the gap in economic growth rates between North and South.
  • Giving business a direct say in the future of Yorkshire Forward.
  • Incentivising local councils by allowing them to keep a proportion of additional business rate income.
  • Introducing Accelerated Development Zones to fund key economic development schemes.

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