Philip Hammond is organising a whistle-stop tour of the United Kingdom before the first autumn Budget to ensure government policy does not concentrate only on Brexit.
The traditional focus on financial services of the Treasury has led to its substantial involvement in the Brexit process, but the Chancellor is perceived to be keen to make sure that other sectors of the economy are not neglected, and that areas outside London are listened to. Visits that will occur in September and October across the country will concentrate on meetings where local businesses will get the opportunity to inform Mr Hammond what they need to become more productive.
Officers from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and those from the Treasury desire to look for ways to strengthen the economy and avoid overlooking domestic policy at a time of heightened focus on international affairs.
Sources from the Treasury, however, remarked that any new policies would “constrained by the fiscal position” – an implication that Mr Hammond still requires focusing on lowering the budget deficit, so plans to increase growth must also be relatively inexpensive.
Because of those financial limits, participants will be advised not to expect anything “sexy or exciting”. They will instead be reminded to concentrate on long-term reforms to areas of policy including border controls, taxation, infrastructure and skills which can boost the economy years to come.
On the other hand, Business Advisory Group is going to be run by 10 Downing street will manage the Business Advisory, which is presumed to see representatives from various business groups come to Whitehall to notify Theresa May and her officials on views of their members regarding business policy and the state of the economy. Mt Hammond’s plans echo those of policymakers from the Bank of England who go around the country to make speeches and host events to make sure that they have an informed view about economic conditions on the ground.