The City of London’s Policy Chair hailed the “extraordinary support” offered to businesses in the budget.
Catherine McGuinness said plans will provide struggling businesses with a lifeline as they look forward to restrictions being eased and emerging from the pandemic.
The furlough scheme will be extended to September with the view of a slower economic recovery.
Ms Mcguinness added: “As the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK, the City Corporation also welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement of a package for museums, theatres and galleries to help them reopen.
“Culture and the arts will play a vital role in the post-Covid recovery of the City, the capital, and the UK.
“However, businesses also need certainty and we urgently need our economy to thrive to help pay for the vast amount of support being provided at this time.
“This is why the City hopes the Government will provide some clarity on when office workers can return to Covid-secure workplaces as soon as possible.”
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On visas and skills:
“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement to fast track visas for high-growth companies, which was a key recommendation of the Kalifa Review.
“It’s essential that the UK is able to attract international talent to unlock the full potential of fintech and other fast-growing industries.
“The new visa scheme will help firms attract the talent they need to scale up in the UK. We look forward to greater clarity related to the timeline and eligibility.
“We also welcome the increased funding for developing digital skills for SMEs and support for apprenticeships, which will prepare the nation’s workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.”
On Green bonds:
“The UK’s financial and professional services sector has a vital role to play in tackling climate change.
“We welcome the Chancellor’s bold commitment to introduce green bonds, which will capitalise on growing investor demand for assets that fund environmentally-friendly projects and create new green jobs across up and down the country.
“As the UK prepares for the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, this is an opportunity to show global leadership when it comes to green finance.”
On carbon markets:
“A scaled-up voluntary carbon offset market, underpinned by principles of high environmental integrity and as part of a credible transition strategy, will play an important part in supporting the transition to net-zero.
“The Chancellor announced that Dame Clara Furse will establish a new group with the aim of positioning the UK and the City of London at the heart of this future market.
“With its strong financial infrastructure, the City of London is well placed to enable this, and we will be supporting this endeavour.”
“It is vital that our tax system remains internationally competitive. That’s why we welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to review the bank surcharge and the new ‘super-deduction’ relief for firms that invest, which will encourage the creation of jobs across the UK and support the country’s economic recovery.”
“It’s vital that we invest in the infrastructure of the future to keep our economy competitive.
“The new infrastructure bank will, alongside the private sector, play a vital role in providing the finance necessary to deliver major projects across the UK.”
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