Ed Miliband told to forge a better relationship with British business by leading left-wing think tank

Guy Bentley
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Miliband needs to embrace business (Source: Getty)

The left-wing Fabian Society has released a report telling the Labour party it needs to be more welcoming of British business.

The report warns that Ed Miliband's rhetoric on the economy and business has often come across as hostile and is damaging Labour's brand.

Labour needs to embrace business "as an ally, not an enemy", the think tank argues, claiming the party also needs to recognise "the limits of state-led redistribution as a mechanism for achieving social goals".

The Fabian Society urges a prospective Labour government to alter its widely perceived view of markets.

"Rather than seeing markets as needing regulation to prevent them being socially destructive, the left needs a greater focus on how they can be helped to create social good", the report said.

This would certainly be welcome among business community that has been sceptical of certain pledges, including energy price freezes, second-generation rent controls and higher taxes.

To regain the trust of enterprise, the Fabian Society recommends Labour adopt a charter for business.

The charter would introduce a "no surprises" approach to business policy, viewing regulation as a last resort, and look to gain support among the relevant industries and companies.

The Fabians recommend that Labour abolish quarterly reporting and "only provide tax breaks and subsidies to companies who can demonstrate detailed assessment of long-term shared value creation".

However, the think tank's focus is not all on the Labour party. It calls for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to "responsible business practices by setting out specific, measurable targets for social and environmental outcomes".

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