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Businesses “Can’t expect to be immune” from tough decisions – Umunna

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The MP for Streatham, who is hotly tipped as a future Prime Minister, said that Labour plans to increase the top rate of tax not for ideological reasons, but because “Those with the broadest shoulders should make the biggest contribution.”

He said: “Many leading figures in the business community have demanded our commitment to bring down the deficit and reduce our debts. That involves tough decisions. The business community can’t expect to be immune from them.”

Umunna also said that he wants to support entrepreneurs who are “challenging the way of doing things” and that he backed the EU as a “key that unlocks the door to emerging markets.”

The recent proposed takeover of AstraZeneca has sparked discussion about the extent to which the Government should intervene to protect British industry. Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised David Cameron for not getting more involved.

Umunna says that he prefers the word “activist to interventionist”.

“If we are serious about modernising and broadening the economy and moving away from a model based on house price inflation and private consumption, then you have to be active on your view of the structure of the economy. Ensuring the science and R&D base is not adversely impacted is a central part of that,” he said.

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