The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) has called on the Government to back regional business with investment to increase North East contributions to UK PLC.
Weak growth over the last three years has led the region’s largest business membership organisation to caution against cuts to areas with the potential to provide economic stimulus, and instead prioritise funding towards areas with the potential to unlock economic growth.
The Government also currently spends a disproportionate amount in the North East on social protection, partly due to historic economic underperformance, and NECC believes backing the private sector is critical to reduce this.
“The North East’s capacity for development should be a big competitive advantage for the region,” said NECC chief executive James Ramsbotham. “While we welcome planning reforms, the impact has been limited. Local authorities have faced heavy cutbacks and prioritised planning and development to bear some of these cuts, affecting performance and undermining the effect of Government policy. We believe greater regionally-focused funding for housing is needed.
“There must also be better understanding of the different regional impacts of taxationand levies such as empty property rates, air passenger duty and fuel duty as well as business rates reform.”