Last week Phil McCauley won the Top Of The Policies for economic growth vote at the latest Pragmatic Radicalism event, chaired by Toby Perkins MP the shadow minister for small business.
Financial credibility is the most important facet required for Labour to be trusted at the 2015 general election. We cannot call for tax incentives without saying how they can be paid for otherwise we will not make our case.
With this in mind, I approached the Pragmatic Radicalism event on 12th of February with a view to presenting my suggestions for how this can be achieved without adding to the deficit. Toby Perkins MP was in the Chair and many excellent ideas were presented in the 90 second pitch format with 2 minutes of questions followed by the vote.
I suggest we change the covenant and fiduciary duties on pension trustees to invest 10% of our 2.5tn in pension assets in UK business. At present there is a requirement to invest for the best return irrespective of our national interests or ethics.
I am not merely suggesting the ownership of publicly traded stock, but direct equity investment in Labour’s proposed British investment bank. With over £200 bn to invest we could transform the UK economy within the next parliament. And what’s more, not add to the deficit in the process. This money can be invested for much better returns in housing and infrastructure and UK manufacturing and export. It’s immoral to think that our pension funds are invested in pay-day loan sharks and manufacturers of land mines.
Indeed, the entire pensions industry needs even more reform than the banking system. They are inextricably linked of course and the pension industry needs to align its duties with One Nation principles. It cannot be right that we are investing UK earnings in foreign competitors which destroy our job and growth at home. We have a national interest first.
One Nation investment will focus our finances upon the extraordinary entrepreneurial abilities within our country. It’s time for a fully funded plan for jobs and growth.
Cllr Phil McCauley serves on Gedling Council and is a member of LFIG (Labour Finance and Industry Group) Executive Board, serial and social entrepreneur