The next government must invest in infrastructure – including nuclear power – if the UK is to prosper outside the EU.
That is the view of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, which has today published a ‘Manifesto for Business’, setting out business priorities for the next Parliament.
The document is based on evidence gathered by the Chamber as part of its recent consultation on the Industrial Strategy Green Paper. Copies have been sent to all six of the county’s sitting MPs ahead of the General Election on June 8.
Chamber Chief Executive Rob Johnston said: "It’s vital that the next government doesn’t sacrifice investment in infrastructure on the altar of reducing the budget deficit.
"We support the principle that the UK must live within its means, but there’s a huge difference between borrowing to fund investment in transport or energy, for example, and borrowing to cover day-to-day spending.
"We need investment in roads, railways, broadband and new power stations to allow the UK economy to thrive. That’s investment to bring a return.
"The key one for us in Cumbria is nuclear power, where problems at Toshiba threaten to undermine the plan for a power station at Moorside, Sellafield.
"Government must step up to the plate and invest directly in Moorside. This plant will generate 7% of the UK’s electricity and cannot be allowed to fail.”
The Chamber’s document also proposes tax reforms – including a replacement for business rates – to incentivise business investment.
And it calls for more affordable housing, reforms to the education system to increase the supply of skilled workers and for a flexible immigration system to allow businesses to recruit abroad after Brexit.
Read the Manifesto here