Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
11:33 AM 5th July 2024

Focus Turns To Labour Policies

Prime Minister Kier Starmer
Photo: BBC
Prime Minister Kier Starmer Photo: BBC
I would like to congratulate the Labour Party on their seismic result at the General Election. The IoD looks forward to working with the new government to create a resurgent UK economy in which individual companies and directors have the confidence to invest and grow.

During the election campaign, we have been impressed by the willingness of Labour to work in partnership with business. It is essential that this positive relationship continues, and that the new government places wealth creation at the forefront of its priorities.

In order to reignite economic growth, the new Government must urgently address some key challenges. Labour and skills shortages are persistent issues for our members. The UK needs to regain and accelerate its position of leadership in the transition to a net zero future. And an industrial strategy which unlocks private investment is needed in order to build long-term confidence in UK economic competence and stability.

The new government is rightly committed to embedding higher standards of conduct and ethics into public life. It is equally important that the UK business community regains the esteem of wider society. We hope that the new government will work with the IoD in making the UK’s corporate governance framework fit for the future and help it roll out our planned code of conduct for directors.
Jonathan Geldart, Director General at the Institute of Directors.

The Institute of Directors priorities for the incoming government include:

An industrial strategy to provide a more stable and predictable framework for business investment.
A plan that delivers vital infrastructure investment in road, rail and renewable energy.
An independent skills shortages agency to assess the UK’s current and future skills needs.
Using corporation tax to provide a financial incentive for companies to invest in skills shortage areas and the achievement of net zero.
Developing a light touch sustainability reporting framework for SMEs.
Reform of the Companies Act to reflect the key role that directors play in modern society, and following through on delayed corporate governance reforms.
Promoting uptake of the Code of Conduct for Directors, which the IoD has developed under the guidance of Lord (Iain) McNicol, as a means of rebuilding public trust in UK business.

Michael Brown Senior Research Strategist at Pepperstone, said:

"Focus will now rapidly turn to how the new Labour government act during the first 100 days in office. The Budget, likely in mid-September, will be of particular interest, with Starmer & Co having campaigned on a pledge not to raise income tax, national insurance, or VAT, despite significant spending plans, and only around £20bln of headroom against current fiscal rules. Progress towards Labour’s mooted 2.5% annual GDP growth target, which seems punchy to say the least, will also be closely monitored, as failure to generate such growth in short order will likely necessitate further fiscal tightening.

“Lastly, the Bank of England are now back ‘in play’, with the political landscape having stabilised, and the Old Lady’s self-imposed public speaking blackout set to come to an end. So long as inflation continues to fall in line with the MPC’s forecasts, an August cut remains the base case, likely providing a welcome boost to consumer and business confidence at the start of Starmer’s premiership.”

The National Centre for Universities and Business warmly welcomes the new Prime Minister and Labour government. The election result is an opportunity to further advance the UK's innovation and research base and build the talent needed for economic growth.

We look forward to working with the new Government on the key issues affecting our innovation ecosystem and the universities and businesses that power it. We were heartened to see how central research and innovation was in Labour’s manifesto and hope the Government delivers on its promise for ten-year budgets and stability.

Innovation should be at the forefront of the Government's economic plan to recover and should form the base of their new Industrial Strategy. We hope the new Government starts as it means to go on. We need strong and decisive action if we are to be a true competitor in the global research and development market, as well as developing the workforce skills needed for future success.
Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB),

Dan Dickinson, Partner and Practice Leader at Grant Thornton UK LLP in Yorkshire and the North East, said:

“There needs to be a clear growth plan to ensure our region will thrive. We need to know how we can build on our skills in technology and green energy to make the most out of the opportunities that help the country as a collective. This is an era of profound technological change, with the advance of AI and supercomputing gaining pace all the time, while the transition to cleaner ways of living and working gathers pace. All of it matters and affects business in every sector.

"The Yorkshire business community would certainly welcome a period of stability and certainty and to be able to operate in a competitive but fair tax and regulatory environment. Our latest Business Outlook Tracker also told us that businesses in the Yorkshire and North East region are keen to see the new government focus on further devolution of powers across the UK, reducing regulation and red tape and improving transport and digital infrastructure, to support business growth.”

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGIU said:
“As we witness a change of government, we should be proud of our democracy and grateful to the electoral administrators who make it all happen and to all the candidates, winners and losers, who put themselves up for election. We offer special congratulations to all the councillors and council leaders entering parliament.

"We know that local government stands ready to work with the new government and we offer a reminder that national success has local foundations. Labour has set out clear missions for government but these can only be achieved in partnership with local democratic institutions.

"We congratulate the new government and we urge it to set out a new relationship with councils across the country based on genuine collaboration and parity of esteem.”

Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice, said:

“This was a historic result for Labour and congratulations to Sir Keir Starmer on becoming Prime Minister.

"Our research during the election (Breadline Britain’s Election Battleground) revealed that Labour has regained ground among low-income voters, with half of those polled saying they would vote for it. This is a 14 per cent increase since 2019. Meanwhile, Conservative support among this group has dropped by 8 per cent to just 15 per cent overall.

"But politicians remain deeply unpopular, with more than half of low-income voters, 57 per cent, saying that “no political party really cares about helping people like me”.

"There are five clear national challenges that the next government need to focus on: good work, stable families, strong communities, public safety, and giving children the best start in life.

"And 3 quick wins it can address next week – abolish Section 21 no fault evictions, make ‘Cuckooing’ a specific criminal offence, and end the school absence crisis by rolling out school attendance mentors across the country.

"I am an optimist. We can do better. If we focus on the long-term root causes of our troubles – like making work pay and supporting fragile families - rather than quick-fix sticking plasters, then we have the talent and resources to rebuild our future.”