24 September 2018

  |  CBI Press Team

News

'Labour can't keep assuming that what works for one business will work for all'

The Labour party has set out proposals to expand employee ownership schemes of large firms.

'Labour can't keep assuming that what works for one business will work for all'

Commenting ahead of the Shadow Chancellor’s speech at the Labour party conference, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

“Rising wages are what everyone wants to see. But Labour is wrong to assert that workers will be helped by their proposals in their current form. Their diktat on employee share ownership will only encourage investors to pack their bags and will harm those who can least afford it.  If investment falls, so does productivity and pay.

“Business has been resilient in the face of uncertainty, but Labour’s anti-business positioning is starting to bite. It’s time for pro-enterprise collaboration, not public proposals that set alarm bells ringing in boardrooms at home and across the world.   

“Labour raises the right questions, but these are not the right answers. From boardroom to shop floor, firms know fair treatment of customers and employees drives success. 

“Employee ownership does work well for some businesses, but Labour can’t keep assuming that what works for one will work for all. It’s time to talk to business about what really makes a difference on the ground.

“And while a social dividend sounds appealing, in current form it sounds like yet another new tax that adds to the dangerous impression that Labour see business as a bottomless pit of funding. 

“If Labour is really to find solutions that improve lives, they must sit down with firms and understand what will drive productivity and investment. The answer lies in the partnerships, innovation, infrastructure and skills that drive growth. It does not lie in dogma.”