#CBI2017 Blog: Jeremy Corbyn addresses the CBI Annual Conference
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers speech on 'Investing in our Future' at the CBI’s Annual Conference.
Five key takeaways from the speech:
'There is a growing awareness that things have to change' – Jeremy Corbyn highlighted the problem of unfulfilling and insecure work and argued that ‘Britain needs a pay rise’, with a real living wage and sensible control on rents.
'We need a Brexit that puts jobs and living standards first' – The Labour leader called for clarity on the direction of travel of Brexit and said that time is running out. He stated that delaying a transitional deal ‘is simply not good enough’ and the threat of no deal is a potential ‘nightmare scenario’, affecting business decisions now.
'We share a great deal of common ground' – Jeremy Corbyn said that the UK’s productivity crisis is ‘making our country poorer’, and the solution lies in investment. Government must act first, he stated, adding that we would be ‘letting the country down’ if decisive action is not taken. A new economic model is required to create a fairer and richer Britain, and a new National Transformation Fund can ‘reverse years of under-investment’ in the UK’s regions.
'We will invest £1.3bn in R&D in the first two years of government' – He said Labour’s Industrial Strategy lays down the challenge to the government. He wants to ensure everyone earns enough to live on. On tax, he was clear that some taxes will rise, but that Labour will be ‘clear and open’ on their tax plans.
'It’s time for Britain to catch up' – Calling for a stronger, fairer and more stable Britain, Jeremy Corbyn said he shared common ground with the CBI on Brexit, investment, housing and industrial strategy. He was clear that this wasn’t about being anti-business as his vision is entirely in step with what is happening across the world.
Overall, business surveys point to a slightly stronger (albeit still tepid) growth over Q2 so far, after a weak Q1. Meanwhile, retail sales saw a lift in May from the Royal Wedding and good weather. However, while real earnings are slowly recovering, they remain low by historical comparison, which is continuing to hit consumer-facing sectors hard.