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How Corbyn's maverick manifesto could yet influence construction

Labour’s leaked manifesto has, predictably, been savaged by large parts of the UK press. 

The Daily Telegraph’s front-page headline screamed ‘Corbyn’s manifesto to take Britain back to the 1970s’, while the Daily Mail branded the 45-page document a ’suicide note’.

The temptation, particularly for business leaders, including those in construction, would be to dismiss the manifesto as irrelevant pie-in-the-sky. 

But I would caution against this approach.

While Mr Corbyn’s popularity is in the doldrums and Labour appears to be heading for a drubbing – as I write, Labour are 49/1 to win an overall majority at the general election – a smattering of Monsieur Zen’s ideas and policies may yet see the light of day.

As Theresa May has shown with her pledge on an energy price cap, the Tories are not afraid of stealing ideas from Labour.

So for example, Labour’s promise to force any firm bidding for a public contract to pay its suppliers within 30 days, or ensure bosses are not paid more than 20 times their lowest-paid workers could well provide political currency for Mrs May if she remains prime minister.

Zero per cent loans for people looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes is another eye-catching policy. 

And if Labour has its way it would not be afraid to stir up the hornet’s nest that is blacklisting, by having a public inquiry.

Meanwhile on corporation tax, Labour would ask large firms to “pay a little more”.

As one politically agnostic industry insider told me today: “For all Corbyn’s faults, some of what he says actually makes sense.”

Another source said: “Even if these policies seem radical, I would not be surprised if some of them were adopted over time.”

On the other side of the coin today, the construction industry can take heart from the fact that Labour wants to see HS2 and Crossrail 2 built as part of a 10-year £250bn infrastructure pledge – and guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals.

Corbyn may be facing a political pummelling, but as Ed Miliband has shown, an influential legacy is not out of the question.

  • How Corbyn's maverick manifesto could yet influence construction

    How Corbyn's maverick manifesto could yet influence construction

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