The CLA is calling on Liz Truss's new government to include the rural economy at the heart of government policy in these tough times that the country is facing. We will be continuously lobbying on behalf of CLA members to close the rural productivity gap and finally have the interests of rural communities and businesses included proportionately in the levelling-up agenda.
As the cost-of-living crisis worsens still, it is more important than ever that the government listen to the needs of the countryside, and take the steps outlined in the inquiry into Levelling-up the Rural Economy to add £43bn GVA to the national economy. The CLA looks forward to working closely with the new ministerial appointees to ensure that these critical measures are delivered.
No Prime Minister in the last 20 years has had an ambitious strategy for the rural economy. This has to change
Commenting on Liz Truss being announced as the next Prime Minister, CLA President, Mark Tufnell, said: “No Prime Minister in the last 20 years has had an ambitious strategy for the rural economy. This has to change." Mark continued: “Years of neglect have led to an 18 per cent productivity gap between the rural economy and the national average. Closing this gap would add £43bn to UK GVA."
Recognising that the government appear to finally be taking the first steps to acknowledge the rural economy, Mark added: “A new £110m support package announced last weekend to support rural businesses was a welcome start. This funding will kick-start the green shoots of recovery for the rural economy. Whilst this announcement, made in the Government’s ‘Delivering for Rural England’ report, is a good start, it does not fully address the challenges faced by rural businesses."
Mark finished by issuing a call to action for the new Prime Minister: “As PM, Liz Truss must go for growth, laying out in detail her plans to deliver genuine planning reform, full connectivity, a simpler tax system for diversified businesses - and a Whitehall shake up to encourage cross-departmental cooperation. Otherwise, her Party risks losing the hearts and minds of 12 million rural voters.”
Read more on the latest insight from the CLA regarding the incoming government below: