Keir Starmer promises a 'new partnership with British businesses'

Keir Starmer promises a 'new partnership with British businesses'
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Thu 18th Feb 2021

Labour leader Keir Starmer has reached out for the support of entrepreneurs by pledging to build strong connections between his party and businesses and to help firms start and grow.

Delivering a speech about the economy, Starmer said there is a "need to create a new partnership between an active government, enterprising business and the British people".

Saying that "we will only have a recovery if businesses can thrive", Starmer promised to boost funding for the Start Up Loans scheme to help 100,000 new entrepreneurs in all regions of the UK to get going.

He said the scheme had provided around 9,500 loans each year since it launched in 2012, with around £1 in £4 going to business owners in London compared to 5.7% for firms in the North East.

Starmer said previous Labour leaderships had failed to realise "that the only way to deliver social justice and equality is through a strong partnership with business" but under his leadership, "that mindset will change" because he "believes in the power of active, enterprising government working alongside British business".

'Not the time to raise taxes'

Addressing rumours that the government may announce new tax increases, Starmer said that the government's Budget on 3 March is a "pivotal moment" and not the time to raise taxes.

He criticised the Conservatives for wanting to "build back" and said: "I don't want to go back. We can't return to business as usual, and certainly not to an economy rooted in insecurity and inequality."

Starmer said a Labour Budget would include an extension to business rates relief and the VAT cut for hospitality and leisure as well as "extending and updating the furlough scheme so it's better able to help people back into work".

Accusing chancellor Rishi Sunak of short-termism, Starmer called for the introduction of a "British Recovery Bond". He said it could raise billions of pounds for a National Infrastructure Bank to invest in growing businesses and creating new jobs.

"When I think about business I see a source of pride, dignity and prosperity," Starmer said. "And I know there's no vision of a future where Britain fulfils its potential in which business does not thrive."

Watch the full speech in this video. It starts at 7:20:

LIVE NOW: Join me as I set out Labour's vision for a new chapter for Britain.

— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) February 18, 2021

Image credit: Official portrait of Keir Starmer, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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