What impact will Labour have on business and technology?

It was a long night for some, working ungodly hours to count all of the crosses in boxes. Sometimes even multiple times in areas where the votes were close! And after all their hard work, the rest of us could awaken from sleep to find out that a landslide victory for Labour means a brand new government. We’ve all heard the slogans and soundbites from the last six weeks of campaigning, but now the real work starts, so we’ve delved into all 136 pages of the Labour manifesto, to find the nitty gritty specifics of what their pledges are surrounding business and technology. 

Why have we done this? Purely so you don’t have to. You’re welcome! 

Please note: any quotes included in this article, were taken from the PDF version of the Labour Party manifesto, accessed at https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Labour-Party-manifesto-2024.pdf on Friday 5th July 2024, and have been copied and pasted directly from the document to ensure accuracy.

Bringing Broadband up to speed

A big one to mention on the tech front, Labour are pledging to bring the UK in line with other countries, committing to the roll out of full gigabit broadband and national 5G coverage by 2030.

Security matters

Cyber-attacks and misinformation campaigns are classed as hybrid warfare methods, and Labour have pledged that they will “conduct a Strategic Defence Review within our first year in government, and we will set out the path to spending 2.5 per cent of GDP on defence.”

On a more individual level, as part of their promise to ensure that the act of stalking is taken seriously and trested accordingly, they pledge that they will strengthen the use of Stalking Protection Orders “and give women the right to know the identity of online stalkers.”

Policing

An issue they’ve identified in policing, is the need to keep up with the pace of ever-evolving crime with technology and investigative techniques. “We will work with national policing bodies and police staff to standardise approaches to procurement, IT, professional standards and training. And we will ensure the service is organised so as to enable investment in specialist capabilities, such as digital forensics, and to more effectively tackle cross-border issues such as serious organised crime.”

Young people online

Their take on children’s online safety is that “Children and young people face significant harm online, with inappropriate content too easily available at their fingertips on a smartphone. We have seen an increase in extreme misogynistic content online driving a culture of violence against women. Labour will build on the Online Safety Act, bringing forward provisions as quickly as possible, and explore further measures to keep everyone safe online, particularly when using social media. We will also give coroners more powers to access information held by technology companies after a child’s death.”

The rising use of AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Recognising the incredible speed at which AI is being developed, Labour pledges to “ensure our industrial strategy supports the development of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector, removes planning barriers to new datacentres. And we will create a National Data Library to bring together existing research programmes and help deliver data-driven public services, whilst maintaining strong safeguards and ensuring all of the public benefit.”

They also discuss how regulators are currently ill-equipped to deal with “the dramatic development of new technologies” which often involve multiple traditional industries and sectors. Although not specifically limited to AI, they want to create a Regulatory Innovation Office which could help keep regulation up-to-speed. With a focus directly on AI, “Labour will ensure the safe development and use of AI models by introducing binding regulation on the handful of companies developing the most powerful AI models and by banning the creation of sexually explicit deepfakes.”

Business financials

And finally, let’s get down to business! In their manifesto, Labur lay out their bid to look ahead longer-term to create a more stable industrial strategy. They’ll be looking to “end short-term economic policy making with the establishment of an Industrial Strategy Council, on a statutory footing, to provide expert advice.”

Along with this longer term thinking, they also claim in their manifesto that they will reduce the confusing chopping and changing businesses have become accustomed to when it comes to taxation, just one example being corporation tax which has changed 26 times in recent years. “We are committed to one major fiscal event a year, giving families and businesses due warning of tax and spending policies. We will publish a roadmap for business taxation for the next parliament which will allow businesses to plan investments with confidence.”

They also pledge to keep corporation tax at the current rate of 25% for the entire length of parliament, and are looking to address unfairness between high street and online retailers by implementing a new system to replace business rates, which they say will raise the same amount of revenue while increasing fairness. “This new system will level the playing field between the high street and online giants, better incentivise investment, tackle empty properties and support entrepreneurship.”

Phew! There we have it. 136 pages condensed for ease of reading. If you’re looking for an IT Company who’s got their finger on the pulse when it comes to issues affecting business as well as providing friendly, expert IT services, then please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help! 

5th July 2024

What impact will Labour have on business and technology?

It was a long night for some, counting all of the crosses in boxes. We’ve all heard the slogans and soundbites from the last six weeks of campaigning, but now the real work starts, so we’ve delved into all 136 pages of the Labour manifesto, to find the nitty gritty specifics of what their pledges are surrounding business and technology.

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