With a Liberal Democrat Council, Cheltenham has been able to buck the national trend and attract some great investment – from John Lewis opening in the town centre to the new Cyber Central site.
But Boris Johnson’s Brexit chaos has damaged the UK economy. We’ve all seen prices in the shops rising. Foreign investment in the UK has fallen by 19%. And the number of apprenticeships – key opportunities for our young people – have fallen by 25% in the last year and a half.
Cheltenham Liberal Democrats have been working hard to boost Cheltenham's local economy. Alongside his fellow local councillors, Max Wilkinson, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for our town, has been supporting the efforts to deliver the new Cyber Park that will bring the jobs of the future to the town. Max has worked in a local business and seen the weakness in our economy himself. And as a local journalist during the recession, he recognises similar concerns about our future happening right now.
As Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, Max would demand better for our town’s schools, businesses and residents. It’s time for a change.
Liberal Democrats will build a fairer economy and a brighter future by scrapping business rates that have been the bane of our high streets, putting local retailers at a disadvantage compared with big online giants that don't have to pay them. As Cheltenham's MP, Max would campaign hard for a skills wallet, to give every adult £10,000 to spend on skills and training throughout their lives, so people’s training keeps up with changing jobs.
If Max is elected as MP for Cheltenham, he would also campaign relentlessly to stop Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit, which threatens local jobs and opportunities.
Other key Liberal Democrat commitments for the economy include:
- Investing £130 billion in infrastructure – upgrading our transport and energy systems, building schools, hospitals and homes, empowering all regions and nations of the UK and developing the climate-friendly infrastructure of the future.
- Using public money to attract private investment for zero-carbon priorities through £5 billion of initial capital for a new Green Investment Bank.
- Increasing national spending on research and development to three per cent of GDP, and supporting innovation, with a goal of doubling innovation spending across the economy.
- Creating a new ‘start-up allowance’ to help those starting a new business with their living costs in the crucial first weeks of their business.
- Establishing an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine Living Wage across all sectors, as well as committing to pay this Living Wage in all central government departments and their agencies, and encouraging other public sector employers to do likewise.