What is business saying about Labour's election victory?

5 July 2024 | Muriel Cozier

Tackling ‘anaemic growth levels’, skills shortages and high electricity costs are being written into the government's to-do list by business.

Welcoming the new government, Sharon Todd, CEO of SCI, wrote today that ‘Research has consistently shown that those countries with well defined industrial strategies average far higher rates of growth. Without a strategy, the UK has been left lagging behind our major industrial competitors and unable to realise the full economic potential of our world-leading research base and scientific talent.’

She called for ‘swift action, putting into action an industrial strategy that provides long-term certainty for business, investors, entrepreneurs and academia’.

Summing up the mood across UK business Jonathan Geldart, director general at the Institute of Directors (IoD) looked forward to a ‘resurgent UK economy in which individual companies and directors have the confidence to invest and grow’. Highlighting the issues IoD members faced, Geldart said: ‘Labour and skills shortages are persistent issues for our members […] and an industrial strategy which unlocks private investment is needed in order to build long-term confidence in UK economic competence and stability.’

Echoing the call for stability, Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, said: ‘Business will welcome such a clear result, and an end to the political and economic instability of the last few years, which is essential for companies to bring forward much needed investment.’

Calling for urgency in addressing the UK’s ‘anaemic growth levels of recent years,’ Phipson added; ‘A modern, long-term industrial strategy which tackles the skills crisis in particular will be key to delivering this growth. Manufacturers stand ready to work with the new government and all stakeholders as a matter of urgency to help deliver this.’

Similarly, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) said the ‘landslide’ victory was a clear mandate to prioritise economic growth. With the Labour manifesto highlighting life science as a sector set to help deliver growth, Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA said: ‘The Labour Party’s life sciences sector plan published February shows the groundwork already laid on which a new life science strategy can be built. Addressing the chronic underinvestment by the UK pension industry in start-ups, and fine-tuning the tax system to support innovation-led growth, will be the first order of business.’

Richard Torbett, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry added; ‘A strong industry-government partnership will be vital to ensure that we continue to discover breakthrough medical innovation in the UK and ensure NHS patients are among the first people in the world to benefit from the latest medicines and vaccines.’

Labour’s victory comes as the manufacturing sector struggles with competitiveness. Welcoming the incoming government, Tata Steel said data from the trade organisation UK Steel indicates that for the last three months electricity costs for UK steelmakers is more than double that for French and Spanish producers. ‘The data shows an alarming new trend in industrial electricity costs, and it is critical that the new Government resolves the problem,’ said the company.

Show me news from
All themes
All categories
All years
search by