Kwarteng will cut red tape to boost UK growth
The Chancellor is to unveil ambitious plans to accelerate the delivery of nuclear plants, wind farms, railways and road schemes among 100 infrastructure projects across the UK.
Kwasi Kwarteng will rip up regulations, cut taxes and speed up the planning process to get proposals off the drawing board and into action. Sources expect him to scrap the planned rise in corporation tax.
He will allow freeports to convert to new tax-beneficial Investment Zones as part of a package of 30 measures to grow the UK economy.
Investment Zones will offer generous, targeted and time-limited tax cuts for businesses. Mr Kwarteng will confirm that discussions are under way with 38 towns and mayoral areas in England and that investment zones will also be delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, though it will require further negotiations with the devolved governments.
The investment zones will also benefit from further liberalised planning rules to release more land for housing and commercial development, and reforms to increase the speed of delivering development.
Time-consuming negotiations between councils and developers for each project over affordable housing contributions will be scrapped. This will be replaced with a set percentage of affordable homes, whilst ensuring communities get the infrastructure they want and need.
Investment Zones will only be established with support from local leaders. The government will work closely with areas to develop tailored proposals that support their ambitions and deliver benefits for local residents.
In a speech to the Commons on Friday, Mr Kwarteng, is expected to set out plans to achieve 2.5% annual growth and stimulate the private sector in order to fund public sector projects.
He will say: “Growth is not as high as it needs to be, which has made it harder to pay for public services, requiring taxes to rise.
“This cycle of stagnation has led to the tax burden being forecast to reach the highest levels since the late 1940s.
“We are determined to break that cycle. We need a new approach for a new era focused on growth.
“That is how we will deliver higher wages, greater opportunities and sufficient revenue to fund our public services, now and into the future.”
Mr Kwarteng’s plans will secure support from business leaders frustrated by regulations that hold back project and add to costs, but he will face severe criticism if he waters down health and safety and environmental protection.