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Lib Dems: The Party of Business

November 21, 2019 8:09 PM

Scrap ratesDynamic, entrepreneurial businesses are a force for good. Our country is blessed by tens of thousands of such brilliant businesses and it's time we celebrated the contribution business makes to our economy and society - jobs, incomes, prosperity.

Conservative Party infighting over the country's relationship with the EU has resulted in a collapse in business confidence, and they seek worsen the damage by dragging us out of our most productive trade relationship with our neighbours and increasing red tape*. Under us, unlike the Tories, UK PLC won't waste so much money in duplication and triplication of digital infrastructure in our richer, urban areas - whilst leaving untouched poorer communities and rural areas.

And unlike Labour - who don't even understand or value start-ups and small businesses - we won't put Big Brother in charge of your digital broadband. Lib Dems won't waste your taxes and scare off private investment with a nonsense return back to state-owned telecoms, where long delays and low quality were the order of the day.

Yes, we want business to be responsible - and when it comes to looking after employees and the environment, we need laws to ensure responsible businesses aren't undercut. But Liberal Democrats are the only party who understand the importance of these businesses and who will ensure that they have the access to funding and long-term capital that they need.

Liberal Democrats are now the party of business. And we will be the Government of Business.

Our priorities in the next parliament will be:

  • Investing £130 billion in infrastructure - upgrading our transport and energy systems, building schools, hospitals and homes, empowering all regions and nations of the UK and developing the climate-friendly infrastructure of the future.
  • Replace Business Rates in England with a Commercial Landowner Levy based solely on the land value of commercial sites rather than their entire capital value, thereby stimulating investment, and shifting the burden of taxation from tenants to landowners.
  • Increase national spending on research and development to three per cent of GDP. We will publish a roadmap to achieve this ambition by the earliest date possible, via an interim target of 2.4 per cent of GDP by no later than 2027.
  • Continue to support investment in new UK digital start-ups by reforming the British Business Bank's support for venture capital funds to enable it to help funds 'crowd in' new backers rather than acting as a funder of last resort.

* The Government's own figures show that filling in the customs forms at newly erected border controls will alone cost importers and exporters a massive £15 bn a year in red tape.