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Labour's election plans 'would crack foundations of the UK economy'

Business leaders warn Labour’s election plans ‘would crack foundations of the UK economy’

  • Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said Labour’s nationalisation would stop investment 
  • She described its plan provide free full-fibre broadband as ‘bolt from the blue’
  • Conservatives said Labour’s spending plans would mean a £2,400 tax rise  

Labour’s election plans would ‘crack the foundations of our economy’ if they got into Downing Street, business leaders have warned.

Speaking on the eve of today’s annual conference, Confederation of British Industry director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said Jeremy Corbyn’s nationalisation programme would stop investment in the country.

Asked if the Labour leader was a ‘friend to business’, she told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: ‘We look at the policies on the table and we have real concerns that they are going to crack the foundations of our economy.’

Dame Carolyn described Labour’s plan to provide free full-fibre broadband for all by taking parts of BT into public ownership as ‘bolt from the blue’.

Speaking on the eve of today’s annual conference, the Confederation of British Industry director general said Jeremy Corbyn’s nationalisation programme would stop investment in the country (Mr Corbyn pictured on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday)

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn described Labour’s plan to provide free full-fibre broadband for all by taking parts of BT into public ownership as ‘bolt from the blue’

She said: ‘That will freeze investment. I have talked to businesses who are already sitting there thinking ‘maybe we’re next’. So we do say again to Labour – work with business, work out different answers to these problems. But this programme that is appearing to value none of the contribution that business makes will simply shut investment out of our country.’

Last night Chancellor Sajid Javid said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would spend recklessly, damage our economy and hit people in the pocket. He will put up taxes by £2,400 a year for everyone to fund his spending spree.

‘Corbyn’s Labour would also subject us to another two referendums causing more uncertainty and delay. 

‘A vote for the Conservatives is a vote to get Brexit done and to keep our economy strong.’

The attacks on Mr Corbyn came as Labour promised free dental check-ups for everyone in England at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

Labour health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth unveiled plans to scrap charges for a check-up, scale and polish, and X-rays. 

The British Dental Association estimated the policy will cost £450million per year.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives said Labour’s spending plans would mean tax rises and hit people’s wallets (PM pictured in Southall on a visit to the Sikh temple)

Mr Corbyn said many people are put off visiting a dentist because of the cost, and argues that this can mean cancers are detected later.

But the Conservatives pointed out that check-ups are already free for those who don’t have the means to pay for them, as well as for children, pregnant women and new mothers.

And they said that under Labour’s plans for a four-day week, it would be even more difficult to get an appointment. Of 39million courses of dental treatment delivered in England per year, about 21million are charged for.

A Conservative spokesman said: ‘Dental check-ups are already free for those who don’t have the means to pay. 

‘Labour’s plans will force taxpayers to foot yet another bill amounting to hundreds of millions pounds, simply to extend provision to people who can already afford it.

‘Labour’s proposals for a four-day week and uncontrolled immigration would cripple our NHS, leaving it understaffed and underfunded, and we would waste all of next year with two chaotic referendums under Corbyn.’

Labour announced plans to nationalise broadband last week, pledging to take parts of BT into public ownership.

The party costed the policy at £20billion – but the chief executive of BT said it would cost taxpayers at least £100billion.

It is the latest in a series of policies to nationalise utility companies, including water, energy and the railways. 

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