Saying ‘This Can’t Go On Anymore’, May Takes Swipe at Business

“Elites” and business leaders in the UK should end abusive work practices and pay their taxes because “change has got to come” to Britain. This was the message from the British Prime Minister Theresa May as she took a swipe at “elites” and business leaders.

“Today too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass on the streets,” the prime minister told a packed conference hall in Birmingham, England, as she closed the Conservative Party conference Wednesday.

“A change has got to come and this party is going to make it,” she said.

The speech by May portrayed the June 23 vote to leave the European Union as a protest not just against the EU, but a call for change in the way the country and its companies work and she pitched her government as the champion of struggling working classes in the speech.

“If you’re a boss who earns a fortune but doesn’t look after your staff; an international company that treats tax laws as an optional extra; a household name that refuses to work with the authorities even to fight terrorism; a director who takes out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bust, I’m putting you on warning: this can’t go on anymore,” May said.

Amid investor concerns that Britain could be heading for a “hard Brexit,” and since the start of the Tory conference, the Bottom of Form

pound has fallen 1.8 percent to a 31-year low against the dollar. This has also left little accommodation space for the finance industry to step in to manage the falling pound.

While on one hand, the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for U.K. economic growth next year, there was stern warning from the UK banks on Tuesday that some 70,000 jobs and 10 billion pounds ($13 billion) in tax revenue are at risk due to Brexit.

But May’s speech was more focused on domestic matters and the grievances that led Britons to end more than four decades of EU membership instead of  the looming Brexit negotiations which found very little reference in her speech.

“Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public,” she said.

“They find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal, your attachment to their job security inconvenient. They find the fact that more than 17 million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering,” she said.

(Adapted from Bloomberg)

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Categories: Economy & Finance

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