With every other media item apparently about Jeremy Corbyn at the moment, the launch of his ‘Better Business’ plan was always destined to provoke even more discussion. So what’s actually in it? Well, very little real detail, but some statements that are surely designed to get small business owners onside…
Corbyn: How the Tories Are Getting It Wrong
“My ‘Better Business’ plan will level the playing field between small businesses and their workers who are being made to wait in the queue behind the big corporate welfare lobby the Tories are funded by and obsessed with,” says Corbyn, who has also launched a website dedicated to his business plans: Corbyn for Business.
“The current government seems to think being ‘pro-business’ means giving a green light to corporate tax avoiders and private monopolies. I will stand up for small businesses, independent entrepreneurs, and the growing number of enterprises that want to co-operate and innovate for the public good.
So how exactly does he plan to achieve these worthy goals?
Corbyn: Two key Issues Holding Back British Business
Corby says he will address the “two key issues holding back British business: lack of skills and of investment.”
Despite the CBI’s warnings of ‘a skills emergency’, says Corbyn, the government is cutting the budget for adult education – something he intends to turn around with “a National Education Service to equip us with the skills we need.”
The government is also cutting investment in infrastructure, says Corbyn, yet “Britain’s businesses complain that Britain suffers from a lack of investment in our energy, transport and digital infrastructure.” His planned National Investment Bank would fund this infrastructure, and also ‘help get finance to businesses in key sectors’, says the statement.
Corbyn: Other Key Policies
His other key policies, which his statement declares will ‘help businesses of all sizes,’ include:
- A modest increase in corporation tax, but a small business rate freeze.
- A review of social security arrangements for self-employed and small business owners to ensure they are entitled to and receive the same security as employees.
- Rent controls to stop local shops and small businesses being priced out.
- Better transport links, achieved by giving local councils the power to regulate buses to improve transport links across the country, vital to help local high streets.
- Boosting disposable income by implementing a higher minimum wage and lower cost housing.
- More resources at HMRC and Companies House to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance and put small businesses on a level playing field with big multinationals.
- Green energy – Invest in renewable energy to bring down energy bills.
A CBI spokesperson confirmed that keeping the country’s infrastructure up to date and “overcoming the skills challenge” were both important to business growth, as were “a competitive tax environment and flexible labour market.”
However, they did not indicate either disproval or approval of Jeremy Corbyn’s plan. Their statement concluded: “Businesses will want to consider the full details of Mr Corbyn’s proposals.”