A decade of underinvestment in London’s public services poses a serious threat to London’s economy and London business, according to London Councils.
Currently London contributes a net fiscal surplus of £32.5 billion to the rest of the UK, delivers 23% of the country’s Gross Value Added and exports over £130 billion in goods and services.
Yet London boroughs have experienced a 63% reduction to core funding between 2010 and 2020.
London boroughs are committed to their role in supporting London’s businesses, but they have serious concerns that a continuation of austerity in local government coupled with increased uncertainty due to Brexit could cause London’s economy to stall.
That is why London Councils is arguing for greater investment in housing, transport infrastructure and education and skills in the capital, so that budget cuts do not undermine the economy.
Greater investment in London’s public services and infrastructure must come hand-in-hand with long-overdue reforms – such as the devolution of responsibilities and budgets for skills and more financial flexibilities.
Last night London Councils hosted a briefing for London’s businesses, held in partnership with London First, to ensure they are informed about these issues.
Cllr Peter John OBE, Chair of London Councils, said:
“London’s public services support London’s businesses in a range of ways – delivering housing for people living and working in the capital, improving standards in schools to educate the workforce of the future, and ensuring roads are in good condition.
“That is why it is only right that London’s businesses are fully briefed on the impact of underinvestment in local public services, which combined with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit pose a real threat to our economy.
“Making the case for greater investment, reform and devolution ahead of the next Spending Review has never been more important. If we achieve this, London boroughs will be fully empowered to work with business to make the capital a great place to do business.”
John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy at London First, said:
“London’s councils undertake a range of functions that are vital to businesses, from managing planning applications to maintaining roads. It is essential that the forthcoming spending review enables them, after years of real cuts, to have the resources to do their job properly”.
Notes to Editors:
The business briefing event took place on Thursday 17 January.
London Councils has launched a campaign to secure the long-term financial sustainability of London local government. The 'Investing in the future' campaign aims to:
- Achieve an overall increase in funding for local government in next year’s Spending Review.
- Ensure funding for children’s services, adult social care and homelessness that matches the scale of demand from residents.
- Target investment in value-for-money local government services.
- Make the case for reform and devolution of local taxes.