SNP Manifesto 2017: key positions on corporate accountability

Banking regulatory reform

The SNP supports the creation of a robust regulatory framework to ensure that the UK economy is not vulnerable to a re-run of the 2008 financial crisis. The SNP will support measures including the reinstatement of the reverse burden of proof which, before being removed by the Tories, required senior bank managers to demonstrate they had done the right thing where wrongdoing had emerged on their watch.

The SNP will support a long overdue and comprehensive investigation into LIBOR rigging.

Workers’ rights

SNP MPs will press the UK government to follow the lead of the SNP Scottish Government, by establishing a Fair Work Commission – with representation from trade unions, public sector organisations, and businesses – to ensure workers’ rights across the UK are not diminished as a result of Brexit.

The SNP will press the UK government to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, and ensure that workers have appropriate rights and protections, including holiday and sick pay. This will help casual and agency workers as well as those now part of the growing gig economy.

Corporate tax

SNP MPs will not support further reductions to Corporation Tax. However, to support job creation, we will propose a doubling of the Employment Allowance – the National Insurance discount that businesses receive when they increase employment.

SNP MPs will back improvements to tax collection and tougher action on tax avoidance, including:

  • a moratorium and review of the closure of HMRC offices in Scotland and across the UK;
  • beneficial ownership of companies and trusts to be made public;
  • measures to improve the transparency of tax paid by major international companies;
  • and further action by the UK government to tackle international tax avoidance.

Environment

SNP MPs will work to prevent the threat of Brexit being used by the UK to reduce commitments to tackle climate change or to undermine the European Union’s efforts to fight climate change and protect the environment.

Trade, investment and human rights

ActionAid has ranked the UK joint worst in the world for having the largest number of treaties with developing countries which most restrict the rights of poor countries to tax UK companies operating there. The SNP will urge the UK government to develop a trade and development policy that outlines how the UK will support development as part of its trade with developing countries.

The SNP Scottish Government has committed to “always consider the human rights implications of its engagement with countries and business” and to ensure that “investment agreements should only be signed where appropriate due diligence, including on the human rights record of companies involved, has been undertaken.” The SNP Scottish Government is now engaging with Amnesty International to put these commitments into practice. SNP MPs will demand that the UK government follows the lead of the Scottish Government.

Brexit

Brexit threatens the fundamental rights that people in the UK currently enjoy, including workers’ rights, as well as vital social and environmental protections. SNP MPs will hold the Tories to account to ensure that the rights and protections currently safeguarded by EU membership are not diminished after the UK leaves.

The European Single Market represents in excess of 500 million consumers – eight times the size of the UK’s market. The Tories’ plans to take us out of the Single Market would damage our economy… SNP MPs will seek to protect Scotland’s economy by working to protect Scotland’s place in the Single Market.