Zac Goldsmith
Conservative Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith.Getty Images

London has boomed under Boris Johnson, not only as the world's financial capital but in almost every field of human endeavour: from fashion to film, business services to biotech. No city is more visited, more Googled, boasts a richer cultural life or hosts more top universities than London.

But too many Londoners are yet to feel the benefits of that success. The capital's rapid growth is putting huge pressure on our housing market, our transport infrastructure, our living environment and our quality of life. So I am taking a stand.

My Action Plan for Greater London will deliver more homes, better transport, safer streets and cleaner air. It's fully-costed, and all paid for without increasing mayoral council tax. It's an Action Plan to secure our city's future and your family's finances, with over half a million new jobs.

But everything depends on keeping our economy strong. So at the heart of my plan is an offer to London business. This is what I'll do for the capital's job creators.

First, I will work with the government to get the best possible deal for business. I'll secure the funding for critical infrastructure like Crossrail 2 and, unlike Sadiq Khan, I'll protect the funding for the next generation of Tube upgrades. Like Boris, I'll travel the world banging the drum for London business. To guide my approach, I'll also set up a Business Advisory Group, with members nominated from the business community themselves.

Khan v Goldsmith: Who will win the brawl for City Hall?IBTimes UK

Second, I will make it easier for start-up firms to scale up. Affordable office space is a huge issue for aspiring entrepreneurs, so I'll mandate that all major new developments come with affordable office space as standard. Next I'll set up Broadband for London, using TfL's 560km system of tunnels and railway verges to deliver a new superfast broadband network for the capital. And I'll work with the boroughs to use the new devolved business rates to support start-up growth.

Third, I will back business to train up the talent they need to thrive. That means working with the boroughs to find new sites for schools, pressing for more government provision on childcare so talented parents don't fall out of the workforce, and using the soon-to-be devolved adult skills budget to close skills gaps in London's cutting edge industries, from Fintech to clean power.

Back me, and you'll get a Mayor with an Action Plan for half a million new London jobs. Back Khan, and you'll get a man who gave Jeremy Corbyn his job.

Fourth, I will work hand in hand with business to solve some of our biggest economic challenges, from increasing take-up of the London Living Wage to tackling late payments. I'll also harness the ingenuity of our tech sector by appointing a new Chief Digital Officer. My CDO will be charged with turning London into a smart city, where data is gathered and shared to guide better decisions on everything from managing traffic flows to homing in on crime.

That's what my Action Plan means for business, but its most important feature is that I can actually deliver it. In a system where London keeps just 7% of the taxes it raises, the next mayor will have to work with this government to secure the funds and powers needed to get things done.

My record shows I can and will. As a local MP I've delivered day in, day out for my constituents, and at the last election they backed me with the biggest increased majority of any MP in the country.

Back me, and you'll get a mayor with an Action Plan for half a million new London jobs. Back Khan, and you'll get a man who gave Jeremy Corbyn his job. Corbyn and Khan's Labour wants to hike taxes, it describes business as the enemy and strikes as the ultimate weapon. Khan's flagship pledge will take £1.9bn out of our transport network at a time when that network needs investment. This is not a party that can be trusted with London's £600bn economy; it's an experiment that London can't afford.

London's businesses are what make our city great. If I'm mayor on May 5th I'll make it my business to deliver for them.


Zac Goldsmith is Conservative candidate for Mayor of London