Michael Izza, chief executive of accountancy body the ICAEW, said the UK was in a new era of politics and welcomed McDonnell’s call for debate on a number of pressing issues.“Fixing our public finances is dependent on generating sufficient tax receipts, so we are pleased that our calls for more resource for HMRC to concentrate on tax avoidance have been heard. Reviewing the Bank of England’s mandate is perfectly reasonable after 18 years, as is looking at the Treasury. We have suggested that Treasury must be transformed into a modern finance ministry, with responsibility across all parts of Whitehall,” he said. “It will be interesting to see what policies Labour come up with in the months and years ahead. Businesses across the country will welcome the opportunity for debate going forward.” Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said business had to be at the forefront of debate and claimed “the shadow chancellor wasn’t in the business of making detailed policy pronouncements.” “If this is the start of a conversation that will shape the opposition’s agenda on growth then business will want to be part of it, however, as they will be the ones making long term investments in technologies that will underpin future competitiveness and support skilled, well paid jobs,” Hopley said. “There are some areas where the shadow chancellor will arguably need to proceed with caution. Most businesses pay their taxes and the debate on doing more to get a fair share from the corporate sector must go hand-in-hand with ensuring that the UK is a competitive magnet for investment and that future tax policies will offer businesses predictability and stability.” Discussing the Living Wage she added it was “not the time to pencil in further rises beyond those already signalled by the current government.” Meanwhile, the CBI was more critical. “The shadow chancellor was strong on intent but has not yet provided great detail on how he intends to deliver his plans. The overall impression of this speech was of rather more intervention in the world of business and the economy,” said director-general John Cridland.
Read more on the Labour party:
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- British business gives a cautious welcome to Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn
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