Philip Hammond has defended the free markets and ripped into Jeremy Corbyn’s “Marxist” policies at the Conservative conference, but business leaders complained that there was little of substance in the Chancellor’s speech.
The Institute of Directors said that “actions speak louder than words” and called on Hammond to introduce tax breaks for entrepreneurs and start-up investors.
“There was little red meat for business leaders today, and if he wants to unleash the nation’s potential, he must use the Budget to boost investment by individuals and #companies,” director general Stephen Martin said.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the Chancellor had not gone far enough. “Now is not the time for half measures,” she said, according to CityAM.
Sterling slipped to a three-week low today as investors fretted about underlying economic weakness, Reuters reports.
Earlier, Hammond told the BBC that businesses needed clarity on Brexit if the economy was to pick up.
European officials and experts have denied the claim repeatedly made by pro-Brexit Labour MPs that the EU stops member states from intervening to protect workers or nationalise industries.
Some on the Labour Left, including Jeremy Corbyn, have said a full Brexit, in which the UK leaves the single market and customs union, would allow the country “to escape a Brussels oligarchy that some believe has frowned on efforts by left-leaning governments to support individual industries or nationalise them to protect consumers’ and workers’ rights”, says The Guardian.