Labour's new business strategy blighted by industrial sized holes

February 16, 2015 6:06 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Labour's new business strategy is full of industrial sized holes and shows yet again they cannot be trusted with the economy.

Each of the "new" policies outlined by the Labour Party has either been achieved by the Liberal Democrats, is pure hypocrisy or is chronically lacking in ambition.

Liberal Democrats have identified 10 industrial size holes in Labour's business strategy.

1) While Labour plan to deliver 80,000 apprentices, Liberal Democrats have created 2 million apprenticeships.

2 )While Labour plan to cut Corporation Tax, Liberal Democrats have already slashed it from a Labour high of 30 per cent.

3 ) Labour's plans for raise the National Minimum Wage closer to average earnings to £8 an hour by 2020 will actually deliver a real term cut. Continuing the current trend in increasing the New Minimum wage will see it at £8.23 by 2020.

4) Labour are offering tax breaks to employers who adopt the Living Wage. But if Labour actually wanted to help the poorest paid, they would not reintroduce a 10p tax rate, forcing them to pay tax. Liberal Democrats increased the threshold on income tax 10,500 and will go further, increasing it to £12,500 - taking the lowest paid 3 million out of income tax altogether.

5) Labour's plans include banning zero hours contracts and yet almost 40 Labour MPs employ staff on zero-hour contracts. Vince Cable has already cracked-down on zero-hour contracts, closing loopholes and banning exclusivity clause. We've also launched an employment review to look at the discrepancies in employment rights emerging from the huge number of contracts.

6) Labour's plans include increasing competition between energy companies and banks. Yet it was Labour's light-touch regulation of the banking sector led to the 2008 economic crash. It was also revealed that their energy price freeze gimmick would actually increase bills as energy prices continue to tumble.

7) Labour say they will cut business rates for 1.5 million small business properties with rateable values of £50,000. But under Labour total business rates increase by £1.6bn under Labour. Liberal Democrats in government have cut the rates for small business and have put concrete plans in place to extend this help through the Small Business Rate Relief.

8) Labour plan to make it illegal to undercut wages by exploiting migrant workers. But when they were last in government they exploited migrants by locking up thousands of children in detention centres each year. Liberal Democrats in government have cracked down on rogue employers who fail to pay the New Minimum Wage, toughening regulations and introducing a new maximum fine of £20,000 for every worker.

9) Labour say they will hand more economic power to every part of the UK with £30bn of devolved funding. But their record in power is one of centralising power. They abolished regional assemblies and introduced Regional Spatial Strategies.

10) Labour say they will stay in a reformed EU and not take risks with our membership. But during last year's European elections campaign, they stayed quiet on the issue. Only the Liberal Democrats made the positive case for remaining in the EU.