Spear's applauds Zac Goldsmith's broader wealth creation agenda.
‘I don’t think people want to see Corbyn as a proxy Prime Minister of London,’ Zac Goldsmith has said.
‘That wouldn’t reflect well on London. If it looked like London was embracing an agenda that was so anti-business, so hostile and so riven with division that would reflect very badly on all of us.’
Although Labour’s Sadiq Khan has pledged to be ‘the most pro-business mayor ever’, Goldsmith (and Spear’s) believe that only a Conservative mayor working with a Conservative Government ‘can guarantee growth and stability’.
Khan’s leftist record is understandably making the business world nervous - he was heavily involved in Ed Miliband’s campaign and nominated socialist, Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of the Labour party.
The Tooting MP’s campaign hinges on the wildly unrealistic promise to freeze fares until 2020. This is not only nonsensical, but also dangerous. Goldsmith's team has warned that a fare freeze could prevent crucial upgrades to the TfL network from taking place: ‘London's transport system is at a critical point. We either invest and upgrade the network... or London grinds to a halt.’
Contrastingly, Goldsmith is a safe and pragmatic bet. His plan to grow business interests in London is comprehensive and based on available funding. Aside from protecting London’s position as a thriving and functional capital for business, Goldsmith has a broader wealth creation agenda. Mr Goldsmith has always been in favour of sensible deregulation, small government, lower corporation tax and red tape reduction. ‘I believe firmly it is the job of government to set the rules of the game and then leave business to get on and deliver it,’ he has said.
So, what exactly is Zac Goldsmith planning to do for the London business community? According to his manifesto, he wants the voices of business to influence decisions directly, and plans to set up a Business Advisory Group, featuring representation ‘from construction through to Tech City; from finance through to fashion’.
Goldsmith is also fanatical about start-ups – he plans to cut as much red tape as possible to make sure that the UK remains the top start-up hub in the Europe. ‘I will continue to push for a business-friendly environment for start-ups and will do everything in my power to cut the red tape that makes setting up a business all too difficult,’ he said.
In terms of business infrastructure, he plans to work with utility providers to get faster and more flexible utility contracts for businesses and would also ensure that affordable office space was available for new businesses. Goldsmith also plans to use TfL’s network of railway tunnels to deliver super-fast broadband to the whole of London.
On business rates, Goldsmith will lobby for the continuation of Small Business Rate Relief and pledges to use the devolution of this tax to the advantage of London businesses.
To encourage enterprises to grow, Goldsmith plans to set up a ‘match-making’ service between large companies with space and expertise and smaller businesses, looking to grow. Goldsmith’s annual £1 million Mayor’s Tech Challenge would also encourage talent discovery and growth – by providing funding for creative projects.
Although his Tory MP status and family background are no doubt a comfort for the world of wealth creation, the business-minded Mr Goldsmith has honest and concrete plans for London business and will be getting the Spear’s vote tomorrow.