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Media comment: The Government must not lose sight of long-term opportunities from the pandemic

3 September 2020

Dear editor,

Comments made by the governor of the Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey at yesterday’s Treasury Select Committee warning MPs about the “record level” of uncertainty is clear affirmation to some of our country’s underlying structural issues and vulnerabilities. It highlighted how prioritising short-term recovery measures such as the furlough scheme over long-term needs will likely prove detrimental for businesses, economies and societies as we seek to recover from the COVID shock.  

To deliver a more inclusive, lasting economic recovery and to ensure more business and commercial resilience in future, we must not attempt to return to January 2020 “business as usual”. Rather, the government should provide greater certainty in areas under its control such as taxation, and must incorporate a longer-term perspective in the Autumn Budget Statement. And present a long term recovery strategy which helps generate more sustainable financial and economic growth that addresses structural labour and capital investment issues, including:    

  • reforming UK insolvency and administration practices to allow for certain viable businesses to re-structure and survive – this will help secure jobs, secure better resolution for creditors and secure tax revenue;  
  • adapting our education and training systems to ensure that we equip our workforce with the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace, starting with changing the Apprenticeship Levy to an Apprenticeship and Skills Levy for all workers;
  • investing in green infrastructure supporting a net-zero recovery and future business sustainability.  

Let’s not lose sight of long-term opportunities to build back better as we emerge from the pandemic.  

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive – Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants