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.
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...