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Next London mayor 'must build 50,000 homes a year'

London's next mayor must commit to building 50,000 homes a year, business leaders have said.

Launching its London Manifesto aimed at the mayoral candidates, the Confederation of British Industry called for the winner of May's election to replace Boris Johnson to develop a new housing strategy within 100 days of taking office.

It said the next mayor should work with the London Land Commission to incentivise local authorities to unlock public sector and brownfield land for development, and should also support the Build to Rent scheme to improve the quality and quantity of private rented housing.

Other measures called for by the CBI include committing to building a new airport runway in the South East, delivering Transport for London's business plan, including Crossrail 2, pushing through the existing 2050 London Infrastructure Plan and giving businesses a stronger say in the London Enterprise Partnership.

In addition, the next mayor should prioritise the development of London's Knowledge Quarter, supporting the Digital Talent Taskforce to meet future skills needs, providing "certainty and consistency" in tax policy to attract financial firms and should call on the Chancellor to end the Bank Corporation Tax Surcharge by the end of the parliament.

The CBI said London currently has the fifth highest cost of living compared to other leading global cities, with the high cost of housing and a lack of supply affecting businesses' ability to recruit and retain employees.

Meanwhile, the capital's infrastructure currently ranks 24th compared with its international peers and 70 per cent of firms believe the increased strain placed upon it will affect them negatively.

Lucy Haynes, CBI London director, said: "In an increasingly competitive global race, the next mayor must take some tough decisions from day one for London to continue to grow and prosper, and to keep the city a magnet for investment and skills.

"From building the 50,000 homes a year the capital needs to house its talented workers and a new runway that will boost our exports to high growth markets to making the city a global beacon for digital and technological skills, London's next leader has a unique opportunity to plan ahead, and position the city at the head of the pack."

The London mayoral election takes place on 5 May.

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