Nick Clegg set for 'John Lewis' economy
Deputy PM to flesh out plans for extended staff shareholding along lines followed by retail chain
Nick Clegg will this week step up his vision to create a "John Lewis" economy by fleshing out a scheme that could let staff buy shares in the company they work for.
The Deputy Prime Minister's "right to request" plan is a central plank in creating more employee or trust-owned businesses such as the revered department store group or the engineer Arup, where staff take a share of profits every year.
At an event at the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Mr Clegg is also expected to announce the creation of an Institute of Employee Ownership to advise firms on how to spread more equity among the workforce. It is due to be run by Graeme Nuttall, the lawyer who carried out a government review into barriers to wider staff ownership.
The plans are separate to those of George Osborne, who stoked anger at the Conservative Party conference last month by floating a plan for staff to gain shares in their company if they waived some of their hard-won employee rights.
Another review, by the Treasury, is exploring whether tax breaks could encourage entrepreneurs to sell their company to staff instead of another firm when they want an exit. Its results are due in the Chancellor's autumn statement on 5 December, and could be accompanied by changes to the capital gains tax regime.
Mr Clegg is keen to boost employee-owned businesses, which research shows are more productive and suffer less absenteeism, to foster more long-term thinking in the wake of the financial crisis. Currently, those firms make up a £30bn slice of the economy, or 2 per cent of gross domestic product.
Meanwhile Lord Heseltine's review of industrial policy is released on Wednesday at an event in Birmingham. The former deputy prime minister is expected to recommend bolstering local enterprise partnerships, the agencies that the Government has established to boost regional economies. In the 1980s, Mr Heseltine developed the policies that led to the construction of Canary Wharf and the regeneration of Liverpool.
Mr Clegg has been on a charm offensive with business recently. He told an audience of bankers, insurers and lawyers at TheCityUK's annual dinner at Mansion House last week: "Historically, the Liberal Democrats are a party of industrialists and small business; staunch advocates of free trade between open economies; long believers in the power of enterprise to help individuals fulfil their own potential, while serving society at large."
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
British man confesses to slitting his two children's throats in Lyon flat
World news in pictures
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£550 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Fidessa Analyst / PM - Banking - London - Up to £...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Sourcing Manager - Banking - London - Up to £500p...
To be discussed at interview.: Queen Elizabeth's School: An experienced and ef...
£294.05 - £330.92 per day + 150 per day travel and accommodation: Orgtel: A le...