To build prosperity in 21st Century Britain we need to take a different approach to creating prosperity, not relying on a few but boosting productivity across Britain's firms and workforce, including in our area.
At the heart of plans should be an understanding that Britain only succeeds when people succeed. This contrasts with the failed approach that believes the best way to pursue growth is to cut taxes at the top and hope that wealth trickles down.
Britain’s world class firms, in sectors which enjoy established comparative advantage, need to be able to take long-term decisions and access key markets; whilst we also need to do everything we can to ensure more smaller businesses reach their potential to power future growth. This could be done by cutting and then freezing business rates for small business properties and putting small businesses first in line for tax cuts.
We need to improve training and apprenticeships, by guaranteeing every school leaver that gets the right grades a high quality apprenticeship. Developing a new industrial strategy that focuses not just on high-tech firms, but also on supporting our big employing sectors such as retail and social care would mean winning a race to the top instead of getting dragged into a race to the bottom. Ensuring the public sector plays an active part in driving up productivity across the whole economy, as well as supporting firms through cutting-edge innovation and research, strategic investment and procurement.
Taken together, this approach would deliver the sustainable growth and rising living standards that our country needs and ensure that our economy works for everyone.
We currently have a Government with a failing plan that claims the economy is a success, when it only works for a handful of people at the top. That’s why we need a new plan, a better plan that says the economy must succeed for families if Britain as a whole is going to succeed.