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Labour’s shadow minister criticised for lack of policy detail

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SMALL business owners who attended an event in London were unimpressed by the lack of policy detail provided by Labour’s shadow small business minister.

Rushanara Ali, the Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, primarily discussed the entrepreneurial spirit of her constituency and emphasised the importance of immigrant founders during most of her allotted time, reported The Times.

During the event, organised by Goldman Sachs, she failed to provide sufficient details on Labour’s plans to support small businesses, it was alleged.

According to business owners who attended the event, her remarks on Labour’s policies were deemed rushed and insincere.

During her speech, Ali briefly outlined Labour’s policy areas, including efforts to address late payments and proposals to assist businesses in reducing energy costs with energy efficiency vouchers.

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She also mentioned collaboration with Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, to address antisocial behaviour on high streets and improve access to public procurement contracts for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Despite these points, audience members expressed frustration over the lack of concrete plans. One attendee, the founder of a children’s education business, urged Ali to provide specific solutions rather than criticising the Tories.

Another participant, managing an online luxury goods reselling business, remarked that the shadow minister missed an opportunity to connect with small businesses. Many business owners expressed remaining unclear about Labour’s stance on small business matters.

Similarly, Kevin Hollinrake, the small business minister, faced criticism for his vague remarks. Attendees described his speech as “complete and utter waffle” and lamented the lack of substantive information on supporting small businesses.

Earlier in the event, Ed Balls, alongside former chancellor George Osborne, highlighted the importance of presenting a clear plan to address the challenges faced by small companies. However, attendees felt that neither Labour nor the Tory representatives adequately addressed these concerns.

The event, which aimed to explore ways to enhance productivity among small businesses, underscored the growing demand for actionable policies and meaningful engagement from political leaders, the newspaper report said.

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