Cameron has abandoned the pretence that he will tackle irresponsible capitalism - Umunna

Published on Thursday, 23 February 2012 10:38
Posted by Scott Buckler

Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, commenting on David Cameron’s about turn on the need for a more responsible capitalism in a speech to Business in the Community today, said

“We agreed with Mark Price, Chairman of Business in the Community, when he said last year that those of us who believe in market capitalism must recognise the extent of public concern and distrust in the system.

“The Prime Minister is totally confused and inconsistent - last month he gave a “moral capitalism” speech saying he would stand up to vested interests for the sake of our economy, our businesses and society, but this month he has abandoned that agenda instead seeking to smear those who argue for a more responsible capitalism by claiming they are anti wealth creation and guilty of snobbery.

“While millions of hard-working British families are struggling to pay their heating bills and our real wealth creators are struggling to access the finance ministers promised, David Cameron has abandoned the pretence that he will tackle irresponsible capitalism. He has chosen the very day when RBS dishes out hundreds of million in bonuses to loss-making investment bankers and British Gas announces huge profits to declare a truce with vested interests.”

On the payments of millions in bonuses at RBS, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“Having gone around lecturing other shareholders to take an active role in ensuring pay restraint in the country’s boardrooms and the City, the Prime Minister has failed to practice what he preaches when it comes to the Government’s role as principal shareholder in RBS.

“By failing to act, David Cameron has shown just how out of touch he is with investor groups like the Association of British Insurers and business leaders like Sir Mike Darrington, who have said there needs to be change and reform. Now even one of his own senior backbenchers is saying he has failed to crackdown on ‘crony capitalism’.”

On the need for pro business measures, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor lecture on the need for a pro business agenda but net lending to businesses has fallen by almost £10 billion in the last year under their watch – hardly pro business. Labour, the Federation of Small Business and others have been calling on the government to urgently implement their credit easing scheme to help resolve this but, more than four months on, we are still waiting for Ministers to implement it.

“As part of Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth we would repeat the bank bonus tax to create 100,000 jobs for our young people and to build 25,000 affordable homes creating work for thousands of Britain’s businesses and wealth creators.”


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