The growth of the sharing economy in the UK has been phenomenal. We are now seeing millions of people up and down the country embracing new ways to share their assets, talents and free time with the help of innovative technology. The contribution to the wider UK economy of this sector goes far beyond just an economic one – it’s creating new networks within communities and having a positive impact on the environment by using resources more efficiently.
In July 2015 I was delighted to be able to launch, along with the Chancellor, the government’s plan for tackling what we view as the economic challenge of our time: increasing Britain’s productivity. In addition to the announcements at the March Budget of 2015, where the government committed to encouraging a wider use of the sharing economy within the public sector and removing unnecessary barriers to entry, the Productivity Plan established an Emerging Industry Action Group to look at the key challenges and opportunities facing the sector. I am pleased that this group is working together to find solutions to help the sharing economy continue to grow.
In the Productivity Plan we noted that the success of the sharing economy is a clear demonstration of how new technology can drive industry transformation, new markets and greater competition – all of which can lead to Britain maximising its economic potential. Creating a framework to harness and accurately measure the possibilities that the sharing economy can provide is crucial, and I welcome this report’s contribution to this effort.
It is a pleasure today to welcome this report from Sharing Economy UK and Diane Coyle, which I believe will act as an important landmark in addressing both the productivity and sharing economy agendas in this country.
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