Business groups slam shadow chancellor John McDonnell's proposal for ministers to "kitemark" businesses

Lauren Fedor
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The Labour Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 2
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told firms Labour would kitemark businesses that paid a living wage (Source: Getty)

Business groups have hit back at shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s suggestion that a Labour government would recognise firms for meeting living wage targets and paying their taxes “transparently and properly”, while naming and shaming those who failed to comply.

Speaking at the London Chambers of Commerce yesterday, McDonnell said Labour would bring in a “Good Business” kitemark scheme, giving favoured firms the government’s stamp of approval.

“We’ll make sure that the strivers are properly and publicly recognised,” McDonnell said.

Adam Marshall from the British Chambers of Commerce told City A.M. governments “can't and should not make moral judgments on what represents a 'good business'”, adding, “Let's have their customers, suppliers and wider society be the judges – not politicians.” The IoD’s Seamus Nevin said the kitemark was “curious”, warning many employers would be “apprehensive that the idea of politicians branding some businesses as ‘good’ sounds like a return to the language of predators versus producers.”

McDonnell, a self-described socialist, also told the LCC that he had wielded Mao Zedong’s “little red book” in the House of Commons last week “because Das Kapital is so heavy and it’s a number of volumes”.

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