Image: Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce Adam Marshall
Difficult decisions will have to be made by small business owners if the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell’s suggestion of a national living wage above £10 per hour is to be realised, according to Adam Marshall, the acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.
He made the comments following Mr. McDonnell’s speech at the Labour party conference where he stated that “everyone should have enough to live on” and suggested that the wage should be set at above £10 an hour. That is a major increase – and above the current government’s plan to hit £9 an hour by 2020. Unions have welcomed the move that would support those on the lowest incomes, however it has caused alarm amongst small business leaders, some of whom are already struggling to cope with current wage payments.
Responding to the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the BCC, said:
“John McDonnell talks of an ‘interventionist’ future Labour government, but needs to remember that there’s both good intervention and bad intervention. Good intervention creates the conditions for all businesses to thrive, but bad intervention ensnares them in red tape and makes them less inclined to employ, train or invest.
“Businesses would welcome a massively expanded infrastructure programme because it helps get the fundamentals right, but their confidence would be undermined by a wave of new regulation and compliance regimes.
“As the Labour Party develops its alternative economic proposals, it must remember that the state cannot control every aspect of economic or business life and stay competitive in a global economy. We need to be making the UK the most attractive place to hire, invest and do business for the future, particularly given the historic transition we now face.
“Achieving the shared goal of a prosperous Britain requires meaningful partnership between business and political parties. Neither should be dictating to the other.”