The chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for social enterprises, has accused Labour of overlooking the potential of social enterprises in the party’s business policy paper published yesterday.
A Better Plan for Business outlines how a Labour government would support the business sector and remove some of the barriers it faces. The document includes pledges to cut and then freeze business rates for more than 1.5 million small business properties, and ensure firms can get access to finance by establishing a British investment bank.
But Peter Holbrook, chief executive of SEUK, said that the plan offered little for social enterprises. "Figures show that social enterprises are worth £24bn to the UK economy, but A Better Plan for Business is disappointing at best in its treatment of the sector," he said.
"This report doesn’t demonstrate that politicians recognise the power and potential of business to deliver social value. It also singularly fails to recognise the pioneering work being undertaken by local political and business leaders in areas across the UK to support the social economy."
Holbrook said that if this document was setting the tone for what leading politicians were going to do to support more responsible capitalism, "then it’s no surprise that people are becoming disenchanted with politics".