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September 30, 2011 11:47 pm
Chief executive of Next and key business supporter of Cameron. Donor to the PM’s leadership campaign. Co-chaired the economic competitiveness policy review with John Redwood when the party was trying to get back into power
● Stick to your guns on planning. Modernising the planning system is a rare opportunity to create employment and drive growth. Development of brownfield sites is too often made impossible by senseless restrictions on usage, parking, density requirements and what type of homes must be built.
● Harness the road economy. Imagine the economic damage done by closing the M1 and M25: you can then see the vast potential for new and improved roads to stimulate growth. This could be self-financing and would enhance quality of life for people stuck in needless jams every day.
● Attack energy costs. Rising household energy costs threaten to derail consumer recovery, so act to reduce energy bills. The renewables target does little to reduce emissions, yet Citigroup estimates it will lead to a 52 per cent rise in electricity prices this decade.
● Enable Britain’s own “brain belt”. Harness the creative power of our two greatest universities, joining them with an 80-mile highway. Following existing routes, it would link Oxford, Bicester, Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge – a critical mass of people, housing, offices and world-class knowledge – sufficient to create our own Silicon Valley.
● Regulation. Extend the moratorium on new regulation for small businesses to all business: if it is good for small business, just think how much good it could do for the rest of the economy!
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