| LONDON, June 29
LONDON, June 29 Britain's opposition Labour
party will on Monday attempt to cast off accusations that its
left-leaning policies have made it 'anti-business' by proposing
tax changes designed to increase long-term investment and foster
Since Labour announced plans to force energy firms to freeze
their prices last September, businesses have become increasingly
concerned about how much political intervention they would face
if, as a narrow lead in opinion polls currently suggests, the
party wins an election next May.
Economy spokesman Ed Balls will promise an approach to tax
and the economy that is "pro-business, but not
"If we are to maintain public support for an open market
economy, we need to address public concerns, promote competition
and long-term investment and make sure markets like energy and
banking work better for consumers and businesses alike," he will
say, according to advance extracts of his speech.
Party leader Ed Miliband has said markets need more rules,
and promised regulation to better protect consumers in
industries from banking to private housing, prompting concern
from business lobby groups and some of the party's own backers.
Labour would look to introduce a tax break designed to
ensure equity- and debt-financed investments are treated equally
and which exempts some profits from taxation, Balls said.
The move, known as an "allowance for corporate equity", was
recommended by leading economic think-tank the Institute for
Fiscal Studies in 2010.
Balls also mooted the idea of other tax breaks to encourage
longer-term investors, including a lower rate of capital gains
tax on such investments.
(Editing by Sophie Hares)