Labour to reach out to businesses with low tax promise

Labour Leader Ed Miliband And Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls Speak At Monthly Labour Press Conference

Labour will reach out to business owners by offering tax breaks and further investment in a bid to bolster the party’s credibility, it has been revealed.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls will unveil the plans tomorrow and promise that Labour will be ‘pro-business but not business as usual’.

He will guarantee to keep a low rate of corporation tax if his party are voted in to power in 2016 in a bid to attract long-term investors to Britain.

The Shadow Chancellor’s pledge to maintain UK corporation tax as the lowest in the G7 – anything below 26.5% – is one of a number of business-focused policy announcements this week for Labour.

In a speech to the London School of Business today, Mr Balls is also expected to reveal he is looking at two new tax breaks to encourage companies to invest in the UK for the long term.

The moves follow a string of attempts by the party to realign themselves with big business and undo some of the damage done to their relationship with energy companies and banks earlier in the year, following the Labour party conference.

On Tuesday, Mr Miliband will back plans to encourage growth proposed by the former transport secretary Lord Adonis, which include handing over £30 billion from Whitehall to local enterprise partnerships and making sure a quarter of government contracts go to small companies.

Last night, the CBI reacted positively to the proposals put forward by Mr Balls, saying that a competitive business tax system is “crucial for future growth”, and that boosting long-term investment would “help firms of all sizes harness their potential”.

Mr Miliband is also scheduled to address company leaders on Thursday at a Policy Network event alongside Mr Balls, although Labour sources have stressed the leader’s continuing commitment to tackling big corporate vested interests and denied there was a concerted attempt to woo the business community.

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