Thursday, June 13, 2024

Next Prime Minister must turn to ‘clever people’ to create better jobs

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Hunter calls on new First Minister to address housing emergency

Reflecting on the fact that the UK, since 2019, has had three prime ministers and five chancellors, Sir Tom, the businessman and philanthropist who heads up The Hunter Foundation, said: “If that [UK Government] was a company and I owned that company, I’d be saying ‘hang on, there is something fundamentally wrong here, we need to sort it out’.

“What do businesses want? Well, we don’t want too much from government – we want them to set out a framework then get out of the way and be consistent.”

Meanwhile, Lord Haughey added: “What we need is clever people who know not only how to read a balance sheet but how to make one.”

Asked by Sir Tom if Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is the ‘real deal and is going to change the UK for the better’, Lord Haughey pointed out: “Your world changes the minute you become Prime Minister and you need a whole new set of tools. So I hope he surrounds himself with clever people.

“I remember having a conversation with Tony Blair many years ago and asking him what would you have done differently when you were prime minister,” he added. “He told me ‘I would have been bolder. I allowed advisers and civil servants to convince me not to do this, not to do that – I would have been bigger and bolder’. That is exactly what we need now and I think Keir Starmer has got a chance.”

Fewer barriers to business will attract and retain talent in Scotland

Both Sir Tom and Lord Haughey welcomed the fact that Mr Sunak and Sir Keir had been in Scotland on the campaign trail – the Prime Minister visiting Nigg Bay in the Highlands and the Labour leader in Glasgow.

Lord Haughey also noted that he was encouraged by Labour’s announcement that they would base a new publicly-owned energy company in Scotland if his part wins the election.

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