8 July 2014

Last week, I was asked my opinion on Labour after Ed Miliband and economy spokesman Ed Balls set their sights on winning back the business vote. It might seem like an overly simplistic question – is Labour pro or anti-business – but from what I’ve seen, they give the impression that they have no concept of how hard it is to grow and run a business. They certainly haven’t shown much appreciation for the companies who are fighting hard to grow and to create jobs. Surely, without these companies, we’d be going backwards not forwards!

200x120_wilting_labourI appreciate their statement that innovative, growing companies are needed to drive the economy, yet this seems to imply that they aren’t already driving it, when I think they are. It’s also important to bear in mind that Labour called for the reintroduction of the 50p tax rate, which isn’t exactly an incentive for British businesses (I would call for a flat rate of tax, but that’s another blog in itself).

More recently, Ed Miliband suggested that markets need more rules and regulations. Isn’t this precisely the opposite of what we want? Can we encourage growth and competition in business by enforcing more stringent regulations? Does this really fall into the category of a pro-growth, pro-business approach? I’m not convinced that it does.

And why is it that, at a time when Britain is well and truly open for business, the labour party wants to cast a shadow over progress with phrases like “our fractured economy”? I don’t profess to be an expert on the subject, but I do believe that the economy is influenced by people’s feelings. To some extent, we behave collectively based on how we perceive and feel about a given situation. We get what we focus on in life, so why is Labour still driving home such a negative message about the recession and recovery? Is it fear-mongering, and if it is, for what gain?

What do you make of Labour’s approach to business? Would giving them control over the nation’s cheque book be like letting your child lose with a credit card in Toys ‘R’ Us, or are two Ed’s better than none?

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