Labour Party Manifesto 2015: key points on corporate accountability

The full pdf document is available here. Key points as follows:

Corporate governance

Britain’s economy is being held back by the culture of short-termism, which is a major obstacle to the development of productive businesses and industries. We will reform corporate governance to protect our leading firms from the pressure to put tomorrow’s share price before long-term growth potential. Institutional investors will have a duty to act in the best interests of ordinary savers. They will have to prioritise long-term growth over short-term profits for the companies in which they are investing. We will change takeover rules to enhance the role of long-term investors by restricting voting to those already holding shares when a bid is made. In addition, we will strengthen the public interest test. We will improve the link between executive pay and performance by simplifying pay packages, and requiring investment and pension fund managers to disclose how they vote on top pay. And we will make sure employees have a voice when executive pay is set by requiring employee representation on remuneration committees.

Pay

We will…use government procurement to promote the Living Wage, alongside wider social impact considerations. Publicly listed companies will be required to report on whether or not they pay the Living Wage.

Tax

We will seek international agreement to make country-by-country reporting [on tax] information publicly available, and we will act at home if agreement is not reached. British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies will be required to produce publicly available registries of the real owners of companies based there. We will extend the sharing of tax information to developing countries and increase DFID’s help to governments to collect more of their own taxes.

Suppliers and supply chains

We will work with companies to ensure they have sustainable supply chains that are free from slavery, treat their workers fairly, and pay taxes where they are due.

We will expand the role of the supermarket watchdog to support the growth of the sector, and protect food producers from unfair practices by the major supermarkets.

Lobbying and Freedom of Information

We will repeal the Lobbying Act, which has gagged charities, and replace it with a tougher statutory register of lobbyists. We will ban MPs from holding paid directorships and consultancies.

We will extend the scope of FOI laws so that public services run by large private companies are included.

Access to justice

We will abolish the Government’s employment tribunal fee system as part of wider reforms to make sure that affordability is not a barrier to workers having proper access to justice, employers get a quicker resolution, and the costs to the tax payer do not rise.

We will make sure that access to legal representation, a cornerstone of our democracy, is not determined by personal wealth, but remains available to those that need it.