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Spending Review 2015 – Investing in growth

With the government committed to a further round of fiscal consolidation over the coming parliament, this autumn’s spending review will entail some difficult choices about spending priorities.

London First has submitted its views on the investment priorities for Spending Review 2015 to the Treasury. As you would expect, our submission focuses on opportunities for promoting economic growth and increased productivity, in particular on addressing the capital’s future transport infrastructure and housing needs.

Our full submission can be viewed here, but in particular we back the Mayor of London in seeking:

  • Maintained funding support from central government for Transport for London’s business plan through to 2020/21, consistent with the long-term funding guideline set out at Spending Review 2013. This covers such vital investments as the upgrade of the Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Central lines, station improvements, the new Tube for London and a range of road improvements. We see these investments as essential if we are to avoid serious overcrowding on public transport, regular station closures and worsening road congestion.
  • Additional support from government to help plan for and fund the next wave of transport enhancements in the capital, particularly where they enable employment growth and new homes (as with a scheme like Crossrail 2, which has our strong backing). Enabling London to fully meet its longer term growth potential will require some additional support from government, through some combination of additional funding, fiscal devolution or other guarantees.
  • An appropriate long-term spending settlement to enable higher housebuilding in the capital, reflecting the city’s acute housing needs and track record in delivering publicly subsidised housing. We would also encourage stronger financial incentives and powers for local authorities to get behind and deliver new housebuilding, and are keen to see the London Land Commission receive the ongoing support it requires for public land and assets in the capital to be utilised more effectively.

London First will now be following up with key decision makers within government to impress upon them the importance of London getting the deal it needs if it is to continue to drive economic growth in the country.

We will also be coming back to you – our members – setting out ways in which you can help champion this message.

Contact David Leam, dleam@londonfirst.co.uk

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