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."
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
Nepal earthquake video: Terrifying footage shows moment avalanche hit Everest Base Camp
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...
£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...