Clegg tells business leaders new plan for stability

The deputy PM wants to encourage businesses to be owned by their employees
The deputy PM wants to encourage more businesses to be owned by their employees

By Oliver Hotham

Employee ownership of the companies they work for should be encouraged to secure growth, the deputy prime minister is expected to say today.

Speaking in front of the British Chamber of Commerce, Nick Clegg will make the case that non-PLC companies, such as John Lewis or the Co-Operative, give their employees a greater drive to see that the company succeeds.

Businesses should be encouraged to maintain a legacy, Mr Clegg will add, rather than end up being sold when the original owners are gone. If this takes root "we'd see more survive, rather than fall".

He will continue: "Much of the time, employee ownership simply isn't considered.

"The Treasury will be looking across the board at the tax system to make sure our tax rules are not a barrier to employee ownership."

Mr Clegg will argue that such companies play an integral part in the economic recovery, that they bring diversity and are statistically less likely to fail that companies not based on this model.

The deputy prime minister will cite the success of countries such as Brazil and Germany, which have a large number of employee-owned companies.

Only two per cent of British business is run in this way.


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