daily update from John Bridge OBE DL

Creating jobs and stimulating an economic recovery

The Prime Minister is today setting out his “New Deal” which delivers jobs, skills and infrastructure for Britain and to set out the first step in the government plans to “build back better” in the wake of coronavirus, for the benefit of every corner of the country.

In his speech in the West Midlands, the Prime Minister will underline his commitment to ‘build, build, build’ in order to upgrade Britain’s infrastructure and skills to fuel economic recovery across the UK.

The Prime Minister is announcing that he is bringing forward £5bn of capital investment projects, supporting jobs and the economic recovery.

The total £5bn of capital investment set out by the prime minister will include:
• £1.5bn for hospital maintenance to end the need for mental health dormitories and improve A&E capacity
• More than £1bn towards 50 projects that form the first part of a 10-year school rebuilding programme
• £900m for a range of “shovel ready” local growth projects in England
• £560m for repairs and upgrades to schools and £200m for further education colleges
• £142m for upgrading the digital connections of around 100 courts
• £100m for 29 road network projects, including bridge repairs in Sandwell, West Midlands, and improvements to the A15 in the Humber
• £96m to the Towns Fund to boost investment in town centres and high streets
• £83m for maintenance of prisons and youth offender facilities, and £60m for temporary prison places
• £10m to remove bottlenecks on the Manchester rail network.

He will confirm the government is committed to building an economy that works for working people across the country. While in the long-term the government must set a path to balance the books, the Prime Minister is clear that we will not do so at the expense of investing now in the productive potential of the economy, or at the expense of the resilience of the UK’s public services.

See the government press release here .

From my perspective the infrastructure delivery plans announced by the Prime Minister are welcome, but they must take shape on the ground swiftly to give a real confidence boost to businesses and communities.

The government must go even further over the coming days to rekindle business and consumer confidence, as part of a wider roadmap to economic recovery. This is a critical moment, and business communities need this government to be bolder than any previous government has ever been.

The focus must also be on delivering a fiscal environment that limits economic scarring and helps kickstart a recovery. This should include taking steps to close the remaining gaps in government support, including giving businesses with direct incentives to invest and hire, and stimulating consumer demand through a temporary, but significant cut in VAT.

We await the update from the Chancellor on the economy next week.

Temporary easements in Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act  has received royal assent and has come into force. The Act introduces temporary easements for AGMs and filing requirements for PLCs, new corporate restructuring tools to the insolvency regime to give companies the time they need to maximise their chance of survival and temporarily suspends parts of insolvency law to support directors.

See the detailed government guidance on the changes.


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