Labour’s Business Partnership for Growth
Labour has continued to deepen its partnership with business with three key phases since Keir Starmer became Leader.
First, we needed to show that Labour has changed. To demonstrate that the Labour Party was firmly back in the mainstream, that it understood the importance of wealth creation and genuinely wanted to listen to and engage with business.
That is what we have done. Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves, Jonathan Reynolds and other colleagues, have had hundreds of sustained and serious engagements with businesses since 2019.
The second phase was gaining a shared understanding of how to overcome the challenges facing the country, an analysis of what specific issues are holding us back, and a resolve to put in place the plans to take us forward. In conversations with CEOs of large, medium and small businesses across the country and across sectors – from the high street to our AI future, from small start-ups to established big businesses, from traditional strengths like finance to cutting edge life sciences, that work has been imperative.
Now, we enter the third and critical phase: to provide meat on the bones. We want to discuss our policies with business and civil society so that if we win the election, we can hit the ground running. We don’t want to start discussions in government that we could have had in Opposition.
There is no time to waste in planning the actions we need to take: for example to accelerate upgrades to the grid, change the planning laws or provide the right climate for innovation.
Business can be confident that the partnership we have forged in Opposition will carry over into government. The plans we take forward will have your fingerprints on them.
A voice for business
Businesses will have a strong voice to ensure meaningful consultation and early visibility of decisions. This is evidenced already through our decision to set up the British Infrastructure Council so key investors can begin a dialogue with us now on the important strategic investments the country will need going forward.
We want business involved in driving forward all of our five national missions as well as playing a key part in day-to- day departmental consultations. A Labour government will provide businesses with as much notice as possible prior to major decisions being implemented, including through our commitment to a single budget in November, so that businesses can be ready when new requirements or changes are introduced.
As part of this, Labour will give businesses a formal voice in economic policy-making. We will set up a Council for Economic Growth to give business and union representatives a voice in macroeconomic policy. We will create an Industrial Strategy Council to include experts from business. It will be on a statutory footing to give the industrial strategy the stability it has too often lacked.
Together we can deliver Labour’s plan for growth.
1. Putting economic stability first
- Iron clad fiscal rules and a fiscal lock.
- Capping Corporation Tax at 25 per cent for the next parliament and retaining full expensing.
- One Budget every autumn, at least four months before the new tax year.
2. Backing British business
- A new industrial strategy created in partnership with business, through a statutory Industrial Strategy Council, to maximise Britain’s strengths in life sciences, digital, creative, financial services, clean power, automotive, aerospace and defence sectors.
- Stable R&D tax credits, 10-year R&D budgets and a new Regulatory Innovation Office.
- Making Brexit Work and a trade strategy aligned with UK strengths.
3. Getting Britain building again
- Reforming planning rules to accelerate infrastructure and build 1.5 million homes and key infrastructure.
- Creating a National Wealth Fund, funded by our Green Prosperity Plan, to unlock billions of pounds of private investment, crowding in three times the amount of public investment.
- A new British Infrastructure Council, convening senior business leaders to advise on how better to deliver and fund national infrastructure projects.
4. Kickstarting a skills revolution
- Getting Britain back to work with 2 million more NHS treatments, 8,500 more mental health professionals, changing incapacity benefits to encourage disabled people to find work without fear of losing their income; devolving employment support to local areas.
- A new generation of Technical Excellence Colleges, offering more high-quality apprenticeships and providing training opportunities tailored to local jobs; and Skills England which will work with business to plan for the skills of the future.
- Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy as a more flexible Growth and Skills Levy.
5. Growth everywhere and Making Work Pay
- Devolving powers away from Westminster, giving regional leaders the tools they need to develop long-term growth plans.
- Supporting a secure, motivated and well-paid workforce with a New Deal for Working People and delivering a genuine living wage, banning exploitative zero hours contracts and ending fire and rehire.