Monday, 26 March 2012

Boost to worker ownership in budget led by Norman Lamb-not that it was widely reported

All those of us who believe that worker ownership is an important ingredient in the reform of our busted capitalist system can take a little comfort from the budget announcement that progress is being made. Of course words are easy, but the fact that Norman Lamb is the Minister who is leading the review makes me believe that this could turn out to be a worthwhile initiative.

The Government will conduct an internal review to examine the role of employee ownership in supporting growth and to consider ways in which barriers, including tax barriers, to its wider take-up could be removed. The review will also consider the findings of the work on employee ownership being led by the Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, due to report in summer 2012, and will conclude ahead of Autumn Statement 2012.

The Government will consider the recommendations of the Office of Tax Simplification’s review of tax-advantaged employee share schemes, and will consult on how to take these proposals forward in Finance Bill 2013.

We should not underestimate the obstructive powers of the Treasury or indeed the lukewarm attitude of Labour which  during their 18yrs in government made little progress on this agenda, nevertheless Norman Lamb has shown a commitment to spreading worker ownership which has not been matched at ministerial level.

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