Truss to supercharge Brexit Britain’s growth by slashing red tape in new investment zones
LIZ Truss on Monday will unveil plans for turbocharging economic growth by building a string of new towns across the UK with enterprise at their heart.
In a major policy announcement in her quest to become the next prime minister, the Foreign Secretary will set out her vision for new low-tax, low regulation “Investment Zones” where business can flourish and communities of the future can develop. She will argue that the bold blueprint will unleash Britain’s post-Brexit potential by driving growth and innovation.
It is designed to recreate the Enterprise Zones launched under Margaret Thatcher which led to the redevelopment of Canary Wharf and the transformation of London’s Docklands.
Ms Truss, the frontrunner in the race to succeed Boris Johnson in Downing Street, said on Sunday: “As Prime Minister, I will be laser focused on turbocharging business investment and delivering the economic growth our country desperately needs.
“We can’t carry on allowing Whitehall to pick the winners and losers; like we’ve seen with the current freeport model.
“Instead, by creating these new Investment Zones we will finally prove to businesses that we’re committed to their futures and incentivise them to stimulate the investment that will help deliver for hardworking people.”
As well as following Mrs Thatcher’s dream, Ms Truss’s vision is understood to be inspired by the “new model towns” such as Bournville and Saltaire created by progressive factory owners in the 19th century to provide modern, high-standard homes for their employees.
Her idea of a 21st Century version with enterprise-led high-tech communities sprouting across the UK is designed to show she has a long-term vision for the economy in her tussle with former chancellor Rishi Sunak for the Tory crown.
If she reaches Downing Street, Ms Truss wants her government to work with local communities to identify sites on previously used “brownfield” land ripe for redevelopment.
Her plan is likely to be seen as provocative attempt to outflank Mr Sunak on enterprise policy
She wants to use the “freeport” schemes currently being developed by the Government as a model for the investment zones but wants to go further in sweeping away planning regulations and red tape.
Her supporters on Sunday dubbed the idea “full fat freeports.”
Her plan is likely to be seen as provocative attempt to outflank Mr Sunak on enterprise policy as he has been the leading champion of freeports in the government.
If her plan comes to fruition, the communities of the future could end up being dubbed “Truss towns”.
Under her plan, designated Investment Zones will benefit from:
- A low tax burden tailored to incentivise investment and infrastructure construction;
- Reduced planning restrictions that permit faster commercial and residential development but do not jeopardise safety;
- Regulations that are tailored on a case-by-case basis and designed to maximise the UK’s post-Brexit opportunity to be a global leader in high value industries including artificial intelligence.
Ms Truss wants to see investment zones develop in every region of the UK.
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