It’s things like this that I struggle with:
“In the Solent’s case, bid partners estimate Freeport status would help create more than 50,000 jobs and attract £2 billion in extra investment.”
Where’s the business case? The analysis?
They’re pretty common in most trading nations. Depends on the detail of how free from customs regs etc. they are as to if they’re carrying major negatives (low regulation is usually terrible news for workers, not for bosses!) I haven’t read the detail for this from government, and don’t believe the exact info is out there so can’t comment either pro or con very clearly.
But the government does seem to be treating them as an economic silver bullet which they absolutely are not, they compliment industrial strategy they can’t replace one! Think the solent bid is very rose tinted and would agree with Sam on wanting to see the analysis of where they’re pulling it from.
Don’t deny though, given the government is pinning its economic hopes on these free ports, that it would be economically good for the local area to have one, how good however is entirely speculative unless we see an economic study. Pretending that a freeport will make up for the total lack of industrial and economic strategy in the solent area is a bad joke and shows a total misunderstanding of economics on the part of the conservatives.
This totally sums it up. They’ve got the idea of a ‘build it and they will come’ model. It has no planning, it’s fire and forget and somebody else’s problem if it goes wrong.
It’s painful to watch and detrimental to the entirety of the south of England’s economy (which is basically reliant on the trade of housing stock as it is) to put all eggs in one big tax break basket.
Hmm … Our Lib Dem council leader and our Tory MP are falling over each other on Twitter to claim credit for this.
And yet … The decision was made by the LEP. A “business led” body with little democratic accountability. In effect this decision on behalf of eight district councils and three unitary authorities was made by a dozen self appointed business bosses.