Public and private sectors must pull together so business can recover from this crisis – Labour

Public and private sectors must pull together so business can recover from this crisis – Labour

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband has written an article for the Guardian on how the public and private sectors must pull together to drive a post-Covid economic recovery. This section stood out:

“There are also parts of our economy which warrant particular attention. One lesson from this crisis is that our domestic manufacturing base matters far more than has previously been acknowledged.

This is an issue of national and economic security, and the government should be willing to step in on the right terms.

Just as our mutual dependence means the state owes responsibilities to support the private sector, so those who get state support owe obligations to the taxpayer.

If you’re registered in a tax haven and you want support, you should come onshore. If you’re a multinational and plan to pay dividends to shareholders while claiming government resources, you clearly don’t need them.

The public should look back on the support it has given business over this period with pride. That also means ensuring the gains from public support accrue to all of us, and not just the losses. The government should be willing to consider an equity stake in firms — particularly when there is a compelling economic or environmental rationale.

The need for public and private to work together with imagination will also be essential as we seek to emerge from what could be the deepest recession for 300 years. During this crisis we have seen thousands of workers redeployed from sectors that have closed. Let’s learn the lesson of what is possible.

We know that the climate emergency is a challenge we can simply no longer afford to ignore. Let’s create an army of zero carbon workers, retraining and redeploying those who can’t work into different industries, from home insulation to wind turbine manufacture to tree planting.

We also cannot ignore the deep lessons of this crisis about the world of work, including about the role of unions. It is the lowest-paid workers whom we have relied on. We need a new bargain tackling powerlessness and insecurity.

In these testing times and beyond, the spirit of common endeavour we have seen in the first phase of this crisis must animate what we do. Together state, business and workers must share the risks and burdens we face. Even out of this emergency, we can and must build a better tomorrow.”

Read the whole piece here.