Only Heathrow Can Take Britain Further

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For the first time since the war the United Kingdom is on the cusp of having an aviation plan that can take the entire country forward.

With the Airports Commission due to hand its recommendation to government in the summer, this aviation plan will have the potential to connect all of the UK’s nations and regions to growth markets around the world, rebalance the economy and help create important jobs for now and the future.

The future needs of the country can only be met if all of nations and regions of the UK are placed at the centre of a national aviation plan. As part of a major consultation with community, stakeholders and business Heathrow established the National Connectivity Task Force to recommend the best way connectivity between the UK’s nations and regions can be enhanced.

In its response to the Taskforce, Heathrow has outlined what it would do to deliver the air connectivity that the regions and nations of the United Kingdom should expect from a national asset like Heathrow. It has announced a new package of commitments deliverable with expansion, designed to connect the UK’s nations and regions to growth markets around the world.

Taken together they have the potential to deliver billions of pounds worth of trade and investment opportunities, reversing a lost decade of connectivity which has seen regional connections to long-haul markets squeezed out of the UK’s hub airport. Heathrow has also committed to a £10m start-up fund to support new domestic routes and have undertaken to review our charges to play our part in making domestic connections viable.

International competition for jobs and trade has never been more intense. A country’s success in this global race depends on the strength of its links with existing and potential markets in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

With a national asset like Heathrow able to reach these far-off markets with frequent and direct flights, Britain has a huge competitive advantage. Heathrow is the best located hub airport with 95% of the global economy within range of a direct flight.

Heathrow is the country’s biggest port for both passengers and freight. It handles twice as much cargo in value as the UK’s two busiest shipping container ports combined. Its role is complementary to the role of all other UK airports.  Like its direct competitors in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, it serves markets that cannot be served by point-to-point airports.

But Heathrow has been full for ten years. In that time, airlines have swapped their domestic connections for more lucrative long haul ones, creating a lost decade of connectivity for British business of all sizes from all corners of the country.

Only Heathrow, the UK’s best connected transport hub, will secure the UK’s place in the world as a global aviation hub for the next generation. Airports Commission analysis says that expansion at Heathrow will generate up to £211bn in economic growth and up to 180,000 jobs across the country. Heathrow’s plans are backed by five regional airports and 32 Chambers of Commerce across the country.

The decision of the future of the UK’s aviation capacity is both urgent and one of the most significant the next government will take.

Further delay will put at serious risk the UK’s long-term growth and prosperity as we fall behind our global competitors. And unless the new capacity serves and connects all of the UK, the danger is our economy will remain unbalanced.

Heathrow has to be part of any solution.

HS2: Going Nowhere fast

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The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee declared this week that the government has yet to prove that HS2 is a worthwhile project.

This is ground already well-trodden by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The think tank contends that the real cost of HS2 has been grossly underestimated – and that there are much better and more cost effective ways of improving Britain`s creaking transport systems. Watch this short film “Going Nowhere – Fast” here.

NOT MUCH SIN – JUST TAXES

George Osborne may have tinkered with beer and alcohol duties in this week’s budget – but he continued to increase duty on tobacco. This approach will only serve to boost the black market for tobacco, says the Institute of Economic Affairs. And, whilst welcome, the slight reduction in alcohol duties will only make a tiny difference to even the heaviest of drinkers.

In Sin Taxes, a short film from ieaTV, the think tank says these duties continue to have a disproportionately large effect on Britain’s poorest families

Only Heathrow Can Take Britain Further

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With just 48 hours until the budget box makes its annual appearance outside Downing Street, this is the last opportunity for the current Government to give a boost to British business ahead of the most uncertain General Election for decades. If the Chancellor prioritises action in infrastructure, employment and exports the UK has a real chance to secure our economic recovery, creating jobs and growth across the whole country.

On infrastructure, transport is the great enabler, connecting people and business across the UK and globally. Heathrow backs the new high speed rail plans, both HS2 and 3, as well as investment in surface access improvements to airports, such as Southern Rail Access to Heathrow. Combined with Crossrail and Western Rail Access, this will mean we can connect all UK nations and regions to our biggest port. North, south, east and west, 12 million people will soon be within an hour of Britain’s hub airport and allow Heathrow to meet our commitment to increasing the number of passengers accessing the airport by public transport to over 50%.

On employment, the Government should continue to back apprenticeships and vocational training, supporting the next generation to achieve their potential within a drastically changing workforce. These are not just routes into work but into high quality careers – Heathrow’s chairman was an apprentice, as was our industry’s Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin. As a large business we play our part by supporting quality apprenticeships in engineering and retail but more should be done to help smaller firms train up and employ young people.

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Make It A Beer Tax Hat Trick, George

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Beer is our national drink. Pubs are the heart of our communities. Each year 3 billion pints and almost 1 billion meals are served in pubs the length and breadth of the country. Seven in ten drinks sold in pubs are beer.

But beer is over-taxed. We pay 39% of all beer duty in the EU despite only drinking 12% of the beer. This is despite two recent cuts in beer duty from the Chancellor in his 2013 and 2014 Budgets. We want George Osborne to join the elite group of hat-trick heroes and make a third successive cut in duty to keep pints affordable for pub-goers.

Poll: Who is your ultimate hat-trick hero?

A hat trick of beer duty cuts would secure jobs and investment for UK pubs. Pubs and brewing support almost 900,000 jobs in the UK and provide £13bn to the economy. Visit www.beerandpubjobs.co.uk where you can try your hand at being the Chancellor and see the impact of cutting beer duty. Join the campaign to #cutbeertax and email your MP asking for their support.

THROUGH THE ROOF…

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This week David Cameron said a new Tory government would build many more new homes in the next Parliament than in this one.

But Britain`s housing problems will only truly be alleviated when suffocating regulation is removed and builders are allowed to build in areas where people really want to live, says Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Watch the think tank`s film on this issue – THROUGH THE ROOF.

The Policy Lifecycle: Tweets, Troublemakers and Traditions

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Since the 2005 election, Westminster has changed. The traditions, the green benches, and the antiquated language remain, but politics is now digital, fast-moving, and relentless. The new reality still includes a few certainties, as demonstrated by the Government’s recent announcement on cigarette packaging. Here are 12 things to think about when you’re following an issue:

  1. A big development may be slipped in under the radar… For example at 8pm, during a Wednesday evening Adjournment Debate
  2. News will be broken on Twitter – after all, everything happens on Twitter first now
  3. The opposition’s first response will be tweeted, long before they manage to put out a press statement (47 minutes, in this case)
  4. In the rush to report breaking news first, not every outlet will get their facts straight
  5. The debate will be cross-media, with comments made on the radio ending up on TV and online
  6. Politicians will take the argument out of the chamber… and even away from party politics (sometimes)
  7. Stakeholders will have their say, even if the press ignores them
  8. The media will get excited about whatever Nigel Farage says
  9. Social media makes it easier to turn armchair opposition into action
  10. An announcement of Government intent is rarely the end of the story, thanks to troublesome backbenchers
  11. In the meantime, parliamentarians will not wait patiently. Instead, they will table written or oral questions and bring it up in debates
  12. And while everyone waits for the Government to act, recalcitrant backbenchers will keep up the opposition.

When stories develop this quickly, you need a monitoring service you can trust. Intelex, the new political intelligence service from Lexington Communications, combines an app, dashboard and insight and analysis from our team of experts. Launching tonight, Intelex will change the way you see monitoring.

Find out more about Intelex – sign up for our launch event, or email us today.

Back to the Future – With Home Ownership

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Great Scott! Homeownership has reached its lowest level in 29 years. We’re heading back to pre-Thatcher levels of owning. Only a third of 25-34 year olds now own with a mortgage, compared to 53% in 2005. And the Bank of Mum and Dad (aka – the parents of middle England) are panicking.

So why does this matter? Every party needs a positive message to tell the electorate. And housing could be the answer. No party has a decisive lead on housing with voters – it’s an area yet to be claimed. Pledge to boost home ownership by building more affordable homes – around 250,000 a year – and the party that does could kill two birds.

Worried parents up and down the country would be reassured that the kids will be alright – that they do have a future. And voters would see the party aren’t all about doom and gloom. That there’s light at the end.

Influential commentators on the right and the left agree. And best of all, KPMG and Shelter have already done the homework, to show how it can be done.

For more detail visit: thehomesweneed.org.uk

Plain Speaking on Plain Packaging

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On 24th February 2015 critics of standardised packaging of tobacco came together for An Evening of Plain Speaking on Plain Packaging at the Institute of Directors in London. The well-attended event featured members of the public and […]

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It’s Time to Drop the Duty

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With less than three weeks to go until Budget day, speculation is mounting: will the Chancellor listen to the thousands who have emailed their MPs and make a popular pre-election cut in alcohol duty? The case in favour […]

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Getting On the Right Track

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The Institute of Economic Affairs hit the headlines this week with its suggestion that busy rail lines could be converted to express busways.

Its report Paving Over The Tracks concluded that this would radically reduce commuter overcrowding – […]

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Time for the Treasury to Settle Debt to Equitable Life’s Victims

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Equitable Life was one of the most trusted pension providers until it collapsed in 2000, leaving one million policyholders out of pocket. In 2008 a four-year investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman found regulators guilty of a decade of […]

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