Lib-Lab coalition would be ‘disastrous for British business’

A group of 55 entrepreneurs has spoken out against the prospect of a Liberal Democrat-Labour coalition, claiming that it would be “disastrous for British business”.

In a letter to The Times, the signatories claim that they have “created many tens of thousands of jobs in the UK” but that the “ever-increasing tax burden and red tape is destroying the very innovation the UK needs to succeed”.

Dismissing the idea that Lib Dem involvement in a future government might improve the situation, they say that the policy of Nick Clegg’s party is “even worse”.

“Mr Clegg’s proposed increases in Capital Gains Tax would strangle inward investment into the UK by making the UK the least attractive place to build or expand any new business,” they write.

The letter is reproduced below:

The undersigned 55 entrepreneurs have built a wide range of new and respected businesses in a wide variety of sectors, over many years. In so doing, we are proud to have created many tens of thousands of jobs in the UK and provided hundreds of millions of pounds of tax receipts.

We write to voice our significant concern about the possibility of a Lib/Lab coalition administration.

For the last few years under Labour, the UK is becoming hostile territory for entrepreneurial businesses. Year after year Labour has created ever more reasons for businesses to leave the UK, or for entrepreneurs to set up their new businesses abroad. The ever-increasing tax burden and red tape is destroying the very innovation the UK needs to succeed and build jobs in what is a hugely competitive global economy. The sad reality is that entrepreneurs no longer feel welcome in a country run by Mr Brown.

Liberal Democrat policy is even worse. Mr Clegg’s proposed increases in Capital Gains Tax would strangle inward investment into the UK by making the UK the least attractive place to build or expand any new business. Jobs that would otherwise come to Britain will simply head elsewhere. Such a policy is short sighted in the extreme, and would definitely lead to reduced growth and higher unemployment.

Quite apart from who won or lost the television debates, David Cameron does run the only party that aims to nurture and encourage business, rather than hinder or disrupt it. With him as the next Prime Minister, we are confident the UK can once more become a natural choice of location for talented business people, and for exciting new businesses.

The Conservatives are publicly against Labour’s “Jobs Tax”, plan to reduce Employer’s National Insurance on a new company’s first ten employees, and intend to reduce the burden of bureaucracy whilst simplifying corporate taxes and regulations. These are the kind of policies that will encourage innovation and ensure entrepreneurial business can thrive, grow and compete globally from the UK.

This is particularly important in the context of the grim state of the country’s public finances and the current high levels of unemployment. Entrepreneurship is the oxygen of a thriving and efficient economy and attracts investment, builds jobs, increases tax receipts and brings prosperity for us all.

Having considered carefully the effect of all the above issues, we have reluctantly concluded that a Brown/Clegg partnership would be totally disastrous for British business, for British competitiveness and for British jobs. The undersigned therefore urge the public to vote in whatever fashion required to ensure neither Brown nor Clegg get to impose their anti-business policies on the UK for the next five years.

by Julie Meyer, Founder of Entrepreneur Country and CEO of Ariadne Capital
For a full list of signatures please refer to the Times where the letter first appeared.

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