The Labour Party Annual Conference 2023
SME4Labour fringe: Labour’s Industrial Strategy: A Vision For Growth and Net Zero
🗓 Date: Tuesday, 10 October 2023
⏳ Time: 10:00
📍Location: SME4Labour POD (Meeting Room 22), ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour fringed: Labour’s Industrial Strategy: A Vision For Growth and Net Zero with Bill Esterson MP, Shadow Minister for Roads; Martin McTague, Federation of Small Businesses – National Chair; Dr Jeevun Sandher, an economist and Labour PPC for Loughborough; Hamish Falconer, Labour PPC for Lincoln and Jo Platt, Labour PPC for Leigh. This panel discussion was chaired by Lee Barron, Labour PPC for Corby.
Cllr Ryan Jude stressed the importance of aiding SMEs in reaching the 2030 net-zero emissions target. A large portion of UK emissions come from SMEs, but most lack decarbonization plans. Upcoming UK regulations will require banks and large firms to report their environmental performance using a green taxonomy, exempting SMEs due to capacity issues. Jude highlighted the need for support from banks, governments, or institutions like GFI to ensure SMEs can meet these regulations. He mentioned the roles of sectors like insurance, venture capital, and technical support in helping SMEs prioritize their environmental efforts. Standardizing reporting and simplifying the process are essential.
Jo Platt emphasized the challenges of social mobility and life chances in her constituency, Leigh. The area lacks opportunities for growth, with limited manufacturing and employment prospects for college and university graduates. Leigh ranked poorly on the social mobility index. In response, Jo set up a charity to address skills and training gaps in the community. She discussed the lack of investment and support from the government, emphasizing the need for levelling funds and affordable spaces for small businesses.
Martin McTague highlighted the challenges small businesses face due to inconsistent government policies regarding industrial strategy. He emphasized the need for clear and consistent priorities to support small businesses. Using the example of the government’s approach to heating buildings, he explained how sudden changes can harm businesses that have invested in such projects. He expressed support for a more consistent and stable approach, particularly in the context of the net-zero project.
In summary, this panel unveiled Labour’s vision for an ambitious and sustainable industrial strategy aimed at driving economic growth while achieving the goal of net zero emissions.