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Farron's National Economic Vision Born In Kendal

November 19, 2015 2:39 PM

Tim Farron MP set out his vision for the British economy in a speech today, in which he urged the government to adopt a long-term approach, backing greater infrastructure investment as well as support for enterprise.

In a speech given at the Institute for Public Policy Research today, Tim criticised the government's decision to press ahead with further cuts to public services and to tax credits, arguing that "ideology is getting in the way of common sense". Tim also criticised the Labour Party for failing to back a Lib Dem move to block the tax credit changes, pointing out that "transitional protection is not enough".

Tim argued that the government needs to adopt a more long-term approach to the economy. Instead of focusing solely on reducing current spending, he urged the government to take advantage of low interest rates to invest in infrastructure. He also stressed the importance of ensuring proper funding for public services and housing.

Tim also announced measures to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. In particular, he urged the government to renew the review of business rates announced under the coalition but now quietly dropped by George Osborne. Reform of this system could give small businesses and start-ups a welcome boost.

Changes to the rules regulating investment and accompanying taxes were also endorsed by Tim, who argued that the UK needs to promote long-term venture capital in order to encourage continued investment rather than short-term profit-making.

Commenting on what this meant for the local area, Tim said: "Here in Westmorland and Lonsdale, there is a vibrant entrepreneurial culture and lots of new start-ups. These small businesses are driving the local economy and providing jobs for local people, and it has long been clear to me that we need to spread this same culture across the country. Having met with a wide range of business owners here in South Lakeland, I am now calling on the government to introduce new measures to encourage these small businesses and entrepreneurs, and to create an environment which promotes long-term investment.

"I have also called on the government to ensure that the services local people rely on are given proper funding, and to invest in infrastructure now in order to reap the benefits in the future. For instance, whilst the government has backed improving rural broadband access, it needs to back this up with proper funding and a detailed plan."