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EY: London must prepare for global future

Mar 17
Tags: Ernst & Young LLP
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EY: London must prepare for global future

London must focus on preparing for its "global future" outside the European Union, according to EY.

The consulting firm commented on some of the challenges and opportunities facing the capital in its response to this month's Budget, which was Philip Hammond's first as chancellor of the exchequer.

Caroline Artis, EY's managing partner for London, said one of the welcome announcements for businesses based in the capital was the confirmation that the city's mayor will be given more power to enable local decision-making.

She noted that many companies will be "delighted" if bodies like the Greater London Authority and city councils - rather than central government - are given the authority to take action on issues like congestion and funding infrastructure.

"Equally, the exploration of further devolution of business rates, apprenticeships and health and social care should all be welcomed," said Ms Artis.

"Londoners will expect to see huge improvements in roads, rail and the Underground which will help keep London focused on a global future outside the EU."

KPMG responded to the 2017 Budget by noting that businesses had asked for stability and the chancellor had "largely delivered".

The firm pointed out that, as well as giving companies the "breathing space" to deal with previously announced changes due to take effect this year, Mr Hammond repeated the government's "mantra" that the UK is open for business.

It also welcomed the support the government has shown for driving technological innovation in the UK. The Budget included provisions of £300 million to facilitate research into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), £270 million to drive development in areas like biotech and driverless vehicles, and £200 million to improve access to superfast broadband.

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