Political Viewpoint by Labour Coun Aston Line – Westborough Ward, Southend Labour Spokesperson for Environment, Culture, Business, and Tourism
Labour is the party of small business
NAPOLEON reputedly once called us “a nation of shopkeepers”, of course, he meant this as an insult, but today we wear that title as a badge of honour.
Local independent businesses form the very backbone of the British economy. I have managed small and medium sized businesses right here in Leigh Broadway my entire adult life, and I am proud to be an active member of our local business community.
We are exceptionally lucky to have such a vibrant and exciting range of shops, bars, and restaurants here in Leigh. Our café culture sits at the heart of what makes living here so special.
This is part of the reason that it has been so extraordinarily difficult for me to watch the consistent raw deals being dealt to our businesses by successive Conservative Governments.
For thirteen years, we have seen enormous multi-national corporations lining their pockets at our expense. They make eye-watering profits on sales made to British consumers and then subsequently do not pay their fair share of tax, meanwhile our small businesses continue to struggle.
How on Earth is an independent family-run shop like Argosy Toys possibly supposed to compete with a global giant like Amazon, when the latter can bottom out their prices by exploiting tax avoidance schemes in the form of offshore tax havens?
Labour is committed to delivering a system of fair taxation, which will allow businesses of all sizes to thrive and to grow.
Since I first became active in the Labour Party, business policy has naturally been one of my core areas of interest. We are quite obviously the Party of workers, the clue is in our name. But I believe that we are the true Party of business too.
When I ran for Parliament in 2019, I vocally made the case that robust employee protections are not in conflict with the needs of business. On the contrary, they would benefit us all, both employees and employers.
A high-skilled, high-waged economy translates to ordinary people having more money in their pockets, money which is then used to purchase goods and services from businesses. Richer workers means richer communities, which in turn means richer businesses. Everybody wins.
Well, nearly everybody. I fundamentally believe that most businesses want to do the right thing. Most businesses genuinely want to pay more than the living wage, most businesses want to foster a happy and well-protected workforce, but in order for those businesses to do that, and for them to remain profitable, we need to take on the companies that exploit their workers and the currently rigged system of taxation.
Certain companies are quite happy to abuse loopholes, because doing so allows them to undercut their competitors and increase their profit margins. Labour’s business strategy is focused on dealing with this unfair advantage. It is only by creating a level playing field that we will ever see any kind of rejuvenation in our nation’s High Streets.
Against the backdrop of soaring running costs and shrinking disposable income, businesses large and small, from all sectors and industries, are now looking to the Labour Party for political leadership. They are doing so for two reasons:
Firstly, because they do not trust the Conservatives anymore. For thirteen years, we have seen the Tories prioritise handouts for their fat cat mates, slashing tax for the top 1%, and protecting the interests of multi-national super corporations – including the oil and gas giants – all whilst our bills continue to skyrocket.
Even the latest Chancellor’s budget is, in reality, just a huge giveaway to Britain’s richest, whilst the rest of our country is resigned to a state of stagnation and managed decline.
Secondly, businesses are turning to us because the policies that we are developing are the very policies that British businesses have been crying out for, for years!
Twice in the last year, we have had the Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy, Jonathan Reynolds, visit us in Southend. Twice, he personally came to listen to the ideas and concerns of our local business owners, and it is this kind of direct engagement which has led to the raft of ideas now set to transform our country.
Business rates need scrapping and a complete rethink from the ground up, late payments are crippling for SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises), and independent traders want their protections enshrined in law. Only Labour will tackle these issues head-on.
The current system is rigged in favour of the international giants, it does not foster entrepreneurship, and it simply does not work for working people.
Labour is the Party of business, and Labour is the Party that will stand alongside you in tough times.
Contact us. Visit: https://leigh-on-sea.news/contact-us