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News Report Page 10 of 18
Publication Date:-
2021-10-18
News reports located on this page = 2.

Metro Mayor Brings Public Sector, Environmental and Business Groups:- "Together For Our Planet"

STEVE Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has convened a climate change and energy forum bringing together the public sector, environmental and business groups to share and collaborate on plans for decarbonising our economy and moving towards a net zero carbon future. The "Together for Our Planet" climate change and energy event, held today at:- St George's Hall, Liverpool, has attracted around 200 delegates from across the City Region.

The event features sessions on Sustainable Energy, featuring updates on wind and tidal power in the City Region, Greener Homes, looking at housing retrofit programmes and modern methods of construction, Greening our Communities, including a look at the Paddington Village local heat network, and an afternoon session on Digital, Diversity and Inclusion, featuring learning from the Voi e-scooter pilot scheme.

Speakers at the event include Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Councillor David Baines, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Climate Emergency and Renewable Energy, Amanda Lyne, Deputy Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP's Clean Growth Board, and MD of ULEMCO Ltd - a global hydrogen technology company, and Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership and of Nature Connected.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "I've been very clear that the climate emergency is the existential crisis of our time and that it will require a huge collective effort to successfully tackle it by reducing emissions. Events like today's, bringing environmental groups, businesses and the public sector together, are an important part of building consensus and collective action. In our City Region we are already working together to put ourselves at the forefront of the green industrial revolution we need to tackle the climate emergency. With our Mersey Tidal Power project, the huge investment in offshore wind in Liverpool Bay, exciting developments in hydrogen power and carbon capture through the Hynet project, and our pioneering contribution to new ways to build and retrofit homes, we can become the UK's renewable energy coast. Put those assets together with our transformational plans for digital connectivity; a key enabler for all of the green technologies I've mentioned here; and we have a compelling vision for the future; a vision I will be sharing with the world at the COP26 conference in Glasgow."

Councillor David Baines, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Climate Emergency and Renewable Energy, said:- "We know that the joint actions on Climate Change present some of the biggest challenges, but also tremendous opportunities for our Region. As portfolio lead for climate emergency and renewable energy I am working to ensure we create a practical Regional plan that involves all the parties that will need to act to make Net Zero a reality in Liverpool City Region. Today's event offers a key insight into the work of partners from different sectors and how it will take a co-ordinated and huge effort from everyone working together to take the thousands of small steps across the City to reduce energy consumption and switch to lower carbon fuel sources. Working together I am sure we will rise to the challenge."

Amanda Lyne, Deputy Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP's Clean Growth Board, said:- "Today's event has been a real showcase for work across the City Region, showing the contribution we can all make to tackling the climate emergency. From huge schemes such as the Mersey Tidal Power programme and Hynet, through to local projects funded through the Community Environment Fund, we have seen today that, while it will take effort, imagination and determination, we have already made a strong start down the road towards a net zero carbon Liverpool City Region. The only way we will make it to that destination is together."


CBI and 41 Trade Associations issues statement on business rates, saying:- "action on investment is needed in the Budget"

AHEAD of COP26, employers representing around 261,000 businesses and 9 million employees say business rate reform essential for green investment. The CBI, along with 41 trade associations spanning the UK economy, have issued a joint statement outlining how action by the Chancellor, at the Budget to reform the current business rates system could unleash a wave of business investment across key Government priorities, including:- net zero and levelling up. Presently, in England, the existing, outdated and outmoded business rate regime acts as a drag on the Government's goal of a high wage, high productivity and high investment economy.

With up to 50% of business investment potentially subject to business rates, the current system actively disincentivises business investment in decarbonisation and wider investments which can improve all important productivity, which is the only sustainable route to higher wages. The joint statement from businesses is backed by 41 trade associations including British Retail Consortium, UK Hospitality and SMMT, representing around 261,000 businesses and 9 million employees (see notes to editors for full list of TAs).

Rain Newton Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:- "Action to get investment flowing into and around the UK is sorely needed to reinforce our recovery. The Government deserves credit for convening the supply chain advisory group to unblock temporary challenges, but as we're seeing with energy prices, there is no substitute for longer term planning and investment. The Chancellor has an opportunity to fix this, starting with fundamental business rates reform at the Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review. By setting out an approach which attracts investment, he can equip the UK with the tools it needs to secure the high wage, high productivity and high skill economy of the future. With up to ˝ of business investment potentially subject to business rates, it has literally become a tax on investment. Action to stimulate investment, starting with business rates reform, unites firms spanning the whole economy. If the Government is serious about achieving its net zero ambitions, kicking reforms further into the long grass cannot be the answer."

The joint statement reads:-

"Government and business are united in a mission to Build Back Better and Greener from the global Pandemic. If we as a country are to truly level up and meet our net zero commitments, leading by example in the year we host COP26, then unleashing a wave of business investment should be the focus. Up to 50% of business investment is potentially subject to business rates, so the financial burden on firms is high and the 2023 revaluation could see it increasing further. Therefore, with the current business rates system acting as a tax on investment, action is needed to rebuild the UK's international competitiveness. The Government has confirmed that policy announcements as part of the long awaited reform of the business rates system will now be made this autumn. Firms need to see fundamental reform of the system to address long standing barriers to investment. The Government has backed business throughout the Pandemic with short term reliefs, but as businesses begin to rebuild, they need the confidence to invest. However, the current system hasn't kept pace with the challenges and opportunities we face as a country. No business begrudges paying into the tax system, and the Pandemic has shown how important and valued our public services are., but in their current form, our business rates system is uncompetitive, unproductive and unfair. Uncompetitive, when compared to international rivals. UK property tax levels are 4 times higher than Germany's, and 50% higher than the G7 average, as a proportion of GDP. Unproductive, in that they directly put firms off from investing to make their business more energy efficient or competitive. If a business invests in solar panels, or other plant and machinery to improve their property, this increases their rates bill. As these investments take several years to yield a return, the immediate increase in rates often makes the investments unviable. And unfair, when the current system helps ingrain considerable inequalities between the richest and poorest areas of the country, penalising businesses in areas of slower growth. Reform to address these inefficiencies can be acted on through this Autumn's policy decisions. We as business organisations representing xxx employers, want to see Government act now to:-

►  Reduce the overall burden of the business rates system to unlock business investment in net zero and support levelling up.

►  Allow business rates liabilities to fall in line with property values, and without further increases in the headline rate, equivalent to a reduction in the uniform business rate for these businesses.

►  Ensure firms can instantly benefit from any fall in property values following a revaluation, while maintaining a phased transition to a higher bill where property values increase.

►  Increase the frequency of business rates revaluations and ensure rates adjust quickly to economic changes to ensure business rates reflect firms' ability to pay."
 

 
      
 
   
 
 
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