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Labour’s approach risks being ‘too much stick and not enough carrot’ for business

21 Nov 2019


Responding to the Labour Party’s General Election manifesto, Edwin Morgan, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The vast majority of business leaders are on board with Labour’s ambitions of tackling climate change and injecting dynamism to all parts of the country. The next government must tap this resource, not alienate it. While new investment in infrastructure and the green economy is welcome, taken as a whole Labour’s measures on business risk being too much stick and not enough carrot.

“Labour’s plans to boost prosperity nationwide by improving local support for growing enterprises, expanding the Apprenticeship Levy, and removing quarterly reporting requirements for small firms will sit well with business leaders. But many directors will have reservations that Labour’s state-first plans for the economy could crowd out rather than crowd in private enterprise.

“Labour’s approach on corporate governance is frequently insightful but almost always one-sided. It’s absolutely right for Labour to seek improvement to how British businesses are run, and to look abroad for new policy ideas. But attempts to reform UK corporate governance must start from the recognition that our present system is an asset to the economy, and is admired and imitated throughout the world. They can’t continue to ignore the clear potential downsides of headline policies such as Inclusive Ownership Funds.”

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