Labour means business...
Listening to Rachel Reeves at a packed business conference, with over 600 delegates, in the Oval Cricket Ground today, the messaging is clear. Labour sees the delivery of its missions as only being achievable in partnership with business.
What that means is that business will have a say in the creation of Labour policies in tackling some of the challenges that the UK economy faces in order to deliver real economic growth. But business is expected to play its part and help deliver the economic growth that Labour wants to see.
Indeed with sponsors of the conference including HSBC, Mastercard, SSE, Bloomberg, Microsoft, Ovo and many others, it certainly seems that business is willing to listen.
But as an Economist journalist asked, "What does Labour expect from business?"
Rachel responded covering the fair treatment of workers, recognition of trade unions, stopping zero hours contracts, reductions in household bills, and the creation of good quality jobs across the economy.
Now Labour admits it doesn’t have all the answers but it offers to help shape the economic environment to help business succeed and encourage economic investment.
Announced today was a ceiling on Corporation Tax at 25%. Further certainty in taxation comes with the publication within the first six months of a Labour government of a plan for tax changes during the course of an initial Labour government. And support through the national wealth fund to help leverage private sector investment into growth areas in the economy such as renewables, life sciences and green hydrogen.
Economic growth is the over arching mission for Labour, according to Rachel, but everything has to be done whilst obeying Rachel’s published fiscal rules.
The question that seems to hang over the conference is - does business have real confidence that will be backed by investment in a future Labour Government, or is it just a case that business is listening because Labour is the only thing on offer?
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