Keir Starmer will take a step to win over Britain’s business leaders by promising that a Labor government will not simply “put money” on the country’s problems.
Speaking at the CBI’s annual conference in the Midlands, Starmer will put fiscal discipline at the center of his party’s call for an industry that Labor believes has been alienated by Boris Johnson’s government.
Starmer will tell businesses: Labor “Never think that the solution to every problem is to throw cash at it,” he promises to run a “stable government and a tight ship.”
She will highlight Rachel Reeves’ hard-hitting approach to public finances by saying, “We’re never going to spend money just for the sake of it.”
It will also announce the creation of a new skills advisory panel, including former education secretary David Blunkett, to ensure Labor has the right policies for preparing youth for work.
The Labor Party has previously attacked the government for wasting billions of pounds on “friendly Covid deals” during the pandemic as it tries to dispel the notion that conservatives can be trusted with taxpayer money.
Shadow Chancellor Reeves said a Labor government would set up a “value-for-money office” that would review government spending decisions before taxpayers’ resources are committed.
But Labor has already made some significant spending commitments, including promises by the shadow prime minister. £28 billion green investment every year by the end of the decade to facilitate the transition to net zero.
Some business groups have reacted angrily to certain aspects of government policy in recent months; it seems that the prime minister blamed the private sector for the lack of heavy-duty drivers. a fuel crisis in early autumn.
Starmer will reiterate his call for the government to “make Brexit work” in his speech at the party conference, saying the Labor government will seek a better long-term deal with the EU for shippers.
Putting this idea into flesh and blood, Labor would seek regulatory equivalence for financial services; advocating for the UK to maintain its data adequacy status and allow digital firms to compete with EU competitors; and to negotiate for mutual recognition of professional qualifications.
“I believe all this can be accomplished by vigorously defending our interests and by patiently negotiating,” Starmer will tell his audience.
Starmer was careful to insist that the Brexit issue cannot be reopened, as the Labor Party was comprehensively defeated in the 2019 general election, as he was instrumental in persuading Labor to adopt the policy of a second referendum.
Labour hopes to unite the remaining voters who support secession, highlighting concerns about economic issues, including the rising cost of living, inflation escalating and national insurance premiums set to rise in April.
Starmer’s emphasis on fiscal discipline is intended to contradict the approach of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn. The Labor leader promised his party that they would “never again run for election with a manifesto with no serious plans for the government”.
He also rejected the comprehensive expropriation Labor planned in 2019, saying he did not think the six major energy companies should go into public ownership.
Lord Blunkett will be joined on Labour’s skills advisory panel by former senior officer Rachel Sandby-Thomas and businessman Praful Nargund, director of Create, an IVF provider.
Together with shadow education secretary Kate Green, they will tour the country speaking to teachers, children and education experts.
Blunkett said: “Nothing is more than spreading what works, placing high quality and inspiring teaching and learning, and motivating young people at every stage and employers with literate, numerical, creative and responsive employees for the future.”
Labor has already announced that it will place career counselors in every school and strengthen the teaching of digital skills.
“Young people are ambitious, optimistic and excited about their future. Yet too many have been disappointed by a Conservative government living in the past,” Starmer says.
The CBI conference is held at multiple sites and will also feature a speech by the prime minister, which is expected to highlight hopes for green jobs across the economy.