Following the result of the Conservative Party leadership election, the Institute of Directors congratulates Boris Johnson on his imminent appointment as Prime Minister. Edwin Morgan, Interim Director General, commented:
“The new Prime Minister will take the reins at crunch-time for businesses up and down the country. It’s crucial that the incoming administration recognises that this is a daunting time for many firms, and is prepared to back them. We look forward to working with Government to achieve this.
“The UK faces long-term skills challenges that have contributed to stalling productivity growth across sectors and regions. Firms are crying out for infrastructure upgrades, while high costs and uncertainty are often stalling their own investment plans.
"A no deal Brexit would only add to the uncertainty and distract from these challenges, but avoiding a disorderly exit will enable the country to focus on them and move forward to everyone's benefit. But whatever shape Brexit takes it is businesses that will bear much of the brunt of adapting, so we will continue to lead the charge for greater support for preparation.
"IoD members are eager to see the country’s new leader channel his energies toward the task of bolstering British enterprise.”
Recent IoD surveys suggest its members’ confidence in the prospects of the UK economy has been dented by recent political upheaval. The IoD has set out a range of measures the new Prime Minister should take to remedy this, and provide a path to business growth across the country, including:
- Provide financial support for SMEs to prepare for and adjust to Brexit, for instance through a Brexit planning voucher system offering grants to help smaller firms access the specialist professional and/or legal help they often need.
- Reform the skills system, introducing a wider range of courses under the flagship Apprenticeship Levy, while introducing new ways to incentivise lifelong learning through the tax system.
- Incentivise business investment by improving EIS and SEIS reliefs and creating a new Enhanced Capital Allowance for productivity-enhancing spending.
- Reduce the burden of business rates by removing the impact of investment in improvements, extending reliefs, and conducting more frequent revaluations.
- Supercharge regional growth by providing more local control of skills policy, piloting regional variances and exploring long-term investment vehicles such as urban wealth funds.