Forum of Private Business comments on Ed Miliband’s speech at Labour Party Conference

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Commenting on the Labour leader’s speech today, Phil Orford MBE said:

“No one can argue with many of the central goals set out by Ed Miliband today. What businesses will need to see ahead of the election is more detail on how the Labour Party will support them to enable them to happen. Short-term cost cuts like those announced on business rates and energy prices are welcome but businesses are aware of other cost pressures that could take their place.

“What many small businesses won’t want are sizeable, above inflationary increases in the National Minimum Wage as they start contributing to their employees’ pensions for the first time over the next few years. Whilst political parties are free to set out their aspiration for wages, they should not undermine the Low Pay Commission’s independence in recommending the rate and should commit to accepting what that recommendation is.

“Overall there is a real need to outline more detailed policies across the board for small businesses, which, aside from occasional policy announcements, has been lacking from the lectern at the Labour Conference.”