Jim Moore: Why big business doesn't deserve much sympathy
Friday 06 January 2012
Outlook Forget hugging hoodies, Britons should go out and cuddle a chief exec.
Yes, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says it is time for us to stop being negative about business and instead see it as "a force for good". Oh dear.
There is actually much in the commentary provided yesterday by John Longworth, the BCC's director general, that we've heard: businesses create jobs, provide training, help communities and so on. He could also have said they pay lots of tax, well at least those that don't – or are too small – to cut sweetheart deals with HM Revenue & Customs.
Some of his pleas will resonate with the public, such as calls for better infrastructure and training and for more lending to business.
And to be fair to Mr Longworth, he is trying to be positive and says the UK could do very well over the next few years.
But it is when he tells politicians they should do more to shoot down a "negative" public perception of business and wealth creation that he goes awry.
Mr Longworth says he speaks for businesses both large and small. Many people feel sympathy for the latter. It starts to evaporate as one moves up the scale. Because while executives have frozen the pay of their staff, and despite falling share prices, they last year paid themselves rises averaging 50 per cent.
And despite corporation taxes continuing to fall, we have yet to see any concrete signs of a reverse of the trend that has seen headquarters moved lock stock and barrel to the Channel Islands, or Switzerland, or Dublin.
Then there are the continuing whines about the 50 per cent top rate of tax from business groups at a time when everyone else is getting brutally squeezed.
The business community needs to get its own house in order before calling on others for help.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...