A RADICAL PLAN to increase taxes on “predator” companies and reduce the burden on “producers” has been outlined at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool.
Party leader Ed Miliband gave the objective broad brush treatment in a keynote speech in which he endorsed Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls’ five point plan to get the economy moving with VAT cuts, a renewed tax on bank bonuses and a national insurance holiday for small firms taking on more staff.
Miliband, who denied being anti-business, repeatedly called for a new “something for something” bargain after launching a bitter attack on the sort of “asset strippers” or “private equity companies” that put care for the elderly in Southern Cross Homes at risk “for a fast buck”.
He told delegates” “We must learn the lesson that growth is built on sand if it comes from our predators and not our producers.
“For years as a country we have been neutral in that battle. They’ve been taxed the same. Regulated the same. Treated the same. Celebrated the same.
“They won’t be by me.”
He added: “We need the most competitive tax and regulatory environment we can for British business. But when I am Prime Minister, how we tax, what government buys, how we regulate, what we celebrate will be in the service of Britain’s producers.”
Miliband insisted this was not an anti-business choice but pro-business on the side of small firms unable to get a loan and high value manufacturers unable to build their business because of Britain’s short-termist culture.
He also promised a Labour government would keep to new fiscal rules proposed by Balls “to bind government to a disciplined approach.”
Miliband came under immediate attack from Institute of Directors director general Miles Templeman, who, said: “We would like to know how Ed Miliband plans to identify and reward ‘good’ companies over ‘bad’ ones.
“In practice, we think he would find this neither straightforward nor desirable. He should have more faith in customers and investors to decide,” said Templeman.
CBI director general John Cridland said: “Ed Miliband is looking for a new business model, but he must be careful not to characterise some businesses as asset strippers. We need businesses to create the wealth and jobs upon which our country’s economic recovery will depend.”
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