Blow for Labour as over 100 business leaders back Tories’ economic strategy

Ouch

Over 100 business leaders have signed a letter supporting the Conservatives’ economic plan for Britain and warning that a “change in course” would “put the recovery at risk”.

As the election campaign proper gets underway, the unprecedented level of support from the business community marks a definite success for the Conservatives and a major headache for Labour.

Signatories to the letter, which appeared in the Telegraph, included Lord Stuart Rose, the Conservative peer and former boss of Marks & Spencer, entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, Baroness Karren Brady, and Bob Dudley, the American boss of BP.

The list of names also includes Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg, the corporation where Labour leader Ed Miliband unveiled his business manifesto on Monday.

Here’s the full letter, which was signed by a total of 103 business leaders:

We run some of the leading businesses in the UK. We believe this Conservative-led government has been good for business and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation.

David Cameron and George Osborne’s flagship policy of progressively lowering corporation tax to 20% has been very important in showing the UK is open for business. It has been a key part of their economic plan.

The result is that Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year and businesses like ours have created over 1.85m new jobs.

We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk. In a personal capacity we therefore sign this letter.

George Osborne said: “An intervention on this scale and with this clarity from Britain’s business leaders is unprecedented in any recent general election. Their message is positive: under David Cameron’s leadership, we have an economic plan that is working and creating jobs.

The Labour party has struggled to win over business leaders in recent months and their latest strategy of declaring support for Britain’s EU membership hasn’t prompted an outpouring of support for the party.

Today the Labour party has announced that a Labour government would reverse the final reduction in corporation tax and instead hand a cut in business rates to small businesses.

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