16 May 2017

Commenting on the Labour Party Manifesto, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“High personal taxation, sweeping nationalisation and deep intervention in business decision-making are not the hallmarks of an ambitious and enterprising society. Taken together, some of the headline propositions in the Labour Party manifesto will give business communities across the UK real cause for concern.

“There are some bright spots in Labour’s manifesto, notably clear and specific commitments to reform Britain’s broken business rates system, which successive governments have failed to implement. The party is right to propose an immediate guarantee for EU nationals currently in the UK, which is a top priority for the many thousands of firms that employ them, as well as more flexibility for businesses to use the apprenticeship levy to train people here at home. Labour’s proposals to strengthen and ring-fence practical international trade support for SMEs deserve careful consideration.  

“While Labour are making some specific and targeted propositions that could boost the growth prospects of small- and medium-sized firms, these will be largely eclipsed by their proposals for higher personal and business taxes in the eyes of business leaders around the UK.” 

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

The BCC’s Election Manifesto, Brexit and Beyond, called for, among others:

  • Radical reform of the UK’s business rates system, including the switch from RPI to CPI
  • Giving firms flexibility over the use of the Apprenticeship Levy to support other forms of training
  • Giving 100% of companies access to super-fast broadband and reliable mobile connectivity
  • Revitalise trade support programmes

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful network of 52 Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. Our Global Business Network connects exporters with nearly 40 markets around the world. For more information, visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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