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New business coalition aims to tackle poor UK productivity

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Microsoft and Vodafone are among the backers of the Building Back Britain Commission, which will be launched at an event attended by Labour’s shadow business secretary, Sky News understands.
City editor
Monday 4 March 2024 10:04, UK
British Land, Microsoft and Vodafone are among the backers of a new business coalition that will launch this week with the aim of tackling the UK’s perennially weak productivity.
Sky News understands the trio, along with Churchill Retirement Living, NHBC and Pension Insurance Corporation, are among the founding members of the Building Back Britain Commission (BBBC).
The group will be formally launched on Monday evening at an event attended by Labour’s shadow business secretary, Jonathan Reynolds.
It will be advised by Claire Ainsley, Sir Keir Starmer’s former policy chief.
People close to the group said it would seek to draw up a growth blueprint to be presented to the next government after this year’s general election.
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Its premise will be that a modern industrial strategy should target the eradication of Britain’s substantial regional disparities in economic growth and productivity.
Among the BBBC’s workstreams will be to identify barriers faced by local areas to attracting and retaining workers, and an examination of the range and quality of housing, transport and digital infrastructure across the country.
It will also assess the underlying drivers of productivity such as educational attainment, health outcomes and technological capabilities in local areas.
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The BBBC’s launch will come less than 48 hours before a budget in which the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, will find his ability to announce tax cuts constrained by deteriorating official growth forecasts.
The secretariat for the BBBC will be run by WPI Strategy, which carried out a similar role for the COVID Recovery Commission in 2021.
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