General election: Johnson, Corbyn and Swinson court business vote at Confederation of British Industry

18 November 2019, 03:29 | Updated: 18 November 2019, 09:58

The three main party leaders will try to appeal to business leaders later, as they address the Confederation of British Industry.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will offer tax cuts, including a cut in employers' national insurance.

He will promise to increase the employment allowance from £3,000 to £4,000, and a cut in national insurance of up to £1,000 for more than half a million businesses.

The R&D; tax credit rate will also increase from 12% to 13% and the structures and buildings allowance will rise from 2% to 3% to increase the tax relief on the purchase, building or leasing of a structure.

Mr Johnson is expected to say: "Let's not beat around the bush - big business didn't want Brexit.

"You made that clear in 2016 and this body said it louder than any other.

"But what is also clear is that what you want now - and have wanted for some time - is certainty.

"So that you can plan and invest, so you can grow and expand, so that you can create jobs and drive prosperity."

He is expected to add: "Whilst you didn't want it, the people did vote for it. And so it was for politicians to deliver it."

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wants a climate apprenticeship programme, training around 80,000 people a year to compete and succeed in the green economy.

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Jobs could include engineers and technicians in renewable energy and transport, civil engineers and skilled tradespeople in sustainable construction, designers, welders and fabricators in low carbon industries, and sustainable agriculture and forestry specialists.

It would be funded by 25% of the funds employers already set aside through the apprenticeship levy and any dividends over the cap paid into Labour's Inclusive Ownership Funds, which the party said is expected to be £700m by 2024.

Mr Corbyn is expected to tell business leaders: "Climate apprenticeships will offer training to school leavers and workers looking to change jobs mid-career, creating the engineers, technicians and construction workers we need to transition to a green economy.

"This election is our last chance to tackle the climate emergency. The Tories have failed to invest in our economy, failed to deliver apprenticeships and failed to face up to the climate emergency."

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson will tell business leaders that the UK will be more successful if it remains in the European Union.

She will say the Liberal Democrats are the "natural party of business", adding: "With the Conservatives in the pocket of Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn stuck in the 1970s, we are the only ones standing up for you.

"Because we believe that any form of Brexit, whether it's hard or soft, blue or red, will be bad for jobs, business and our public services.

"We believe that being part of one of the most successful economic blocs in the world is the best guarantee we can have for the future success of our businesses and of our country."

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