What are the Parties Offering Business Opportunities?
Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, and Jo Swinson attended the CBI Conference to discuss business. They were there to impress City leaders with their ideas.
While Mr Johnson promised to end Brexit “uncertainty, confusion”, Mr Corbyn revealed Labour’s plans to create 320,000 apprenticeships in England.
Liberal Democrats claim that they are the party of business, as the party to Remain.
Here’s what the parties will do if they win in the General Election.
What are the Conservatives proposing to do?
Johnson stated that planned cuts to corporation taxes for April 2019 will be put on hold by the Conservatives if they win power. The money would instead be used to fund the NHS.
Corporation tax, which is the rate that firms pay on their profits, will drop from 19% to 17% in 2020.
We can only invest in the great public services if entrepreneurs, businesses, and hardworking people who work every day to build our strong economy. pic.twitter.com/XtNXfoKNRl
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 18, 2019
According to the Prime Minister, the move would have cost the government approximately PS6 billion per year.
Johnson also stated that he would reduce National Insurance contributions for employers who already receive a reduction known the Employment Allowance.
According to the party, its plans to raise the employment allowance from PS3,000 a PS4,000 will result in a cut of National Insurance of upto PS1,000 for more that half a million companies.
Johnson also promised to raise the Research and Development tax credit rate, from 12% to 13%. This, according to the Tories, will help boost manufacturing as well as the scientific, technical, and professional services sectors.
– What is Labour Party’s plan for the future?
Corbyn has pledged to create a climate apprenticeship program that will train an average of 85,000 people each year.
Jeremy Corbyn at CBI Conference (Stefan Rousseau/PA).
Labour had promised to deliver 320,000 apprenticeships in England under its first term as government. By 2030, the scheme would have created 886,000 apprenticeships.
Labour claimed that the programme would be funded by a diversion of 25% of the funds employers have already set aside through Apprenticeship Levy. This will be topped up by any dividends above the cap paid into Labour’s Inclusive Ownership Fonds, which Labour stated is expected to be PS700 millions by 2024.
Labour plans to reform the Apprenticeship Levie to better meet the needs both of employers and workers, and also to address the climate emergency.
– What do the Liberal Democrats think?
The Lib Dems claim they are the “natural party for business” and campaign to remain in the EU.
Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has stated that her party is the “natural parties of business” (PA).
Sir Ed Davey, the party’s economic spokesperson, stated that staying in EU would create a “PS50 Billion Remain bonus”, which would allow for more money to go into schools and policies to combat inequality.
Ms Swinson has criticized both Labour and the Conservatives’ plans to spend large sums of money on big infrastructure projects.
What do businesses think about the policies of the parties?
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn (Director General of the CBI), the largest business lobby group in the UK, responded to Mr Johnson’s speech. She said that business welcomed the Prime Minister’s increased investments in infrastructure, education, and technology.
She warned, however, that his words must be “firm commitments” in Conservatives’ manifesto.
Director-General of CBI, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn. Stefan Rousseau/PA
Dame Carolyn supported Labour’s plans and urged the party to offer more flexibility on the Apprenticeship Levy. She also supported plans for vocational training for school leavers or people switching careers.
She expressed concern that “false instincts to mass nationalisations, and forcing inclusive ownership systems onto thriving businesses does nothing more than scare investors away from backing the UK”.