Boris Johnson unveils tax cuts for business as party leaders try to woo bosses
Boris Johnson has unveiled a package of tax cuts for businesses as party leaders try to woo bosses ahead of the general election.
The Prime Minister will also tell the CBI annual conference that only the Tories can end the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit by delivering a deal to take the UK out of the EU.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn will declare that a Labour government would reform the apprenticeship levy to train up nearly a million workers to help Britain hit its climate change targets.
And Jo Swinson will declare that the Lib Dems are "the natural party of business" in a swipe at her election rivals.
Mr Johnson will say that a Tory government would cut business rates and employers' National Insurance contributions, while introducing tax breaks to encourage more contruction and rerearch and development.
In all, the Conservatives say the measures will benefit firms to the tune of £1bn by 2022/23.
The Prime Minister - who infamously said "f*** business" when confronted with the sector's concerns over Brexit - will tell the CBI conference: "Let’s not beat around the bush, big business didn’t want Brexit. You made that clear in 2016 and this body said it louder than any other.
"But what is also clear is that what you want now - and have wanted for some time - is certainty. So that you can plan and invest, so you can grow and expand, so that you can create jobs and drive prosperity.
"Whilst you didn’t want it, the people did vote for it. And so it was for politicians to deliver it.
"It has been politicians in a broken Parliament - not you - that have failed in this and in some cases actively tried to sabotage the democratic will of the people.
"This is why we had to have this election. Our hung and broken parliament was set on prolonging this delay. Britain stuck in gridlock and our economy stuck in first gear. Extension to extension. Marching business up to the top of the hill, only to march them down again."
He will add: "With a Conservative majority government you can be sure we will get Brexit done and leave with the new deal that is already agreed – ending the uncertainty and confusion that has paralysed our economy.
"We can then focus on the people’s priorities – investing in the NHS, cutting crime and making sure our children get a world class education. And you can focus on what you do best – spurring innovation, creating jobs, stimulating growth."
In his own speech to the conference, Mr Corbyn will say that Labour would create a climate apprenticeship programme to deliver 320,000 apprenticeships in England during its first term in government, and 886,000 by 2030.
He will say: "Climate apprenticeships will offer training to school leavers and workers looking to change jobs mid-career, creating the engineers, technicians and construction workers we need to transition to a green economy.
"This election is our last chance to tackle the climate emergency. The Tories have failed to invest in our economy, failed to deliver apprenticeships and failed to face up to the climate emergency. Labour will deliver real change."
Meanwhile, Ms Swinson will tell the conference: "With the Conservatives in the pocket of Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn stuck in the 1970s, we are the only ones standing up for you.
"Because we believe that any form of Brexit, whether it’s hard or soft, blue or red, will be bad for jobs, business, and our public services.
"We believe that being part of one of the most successful economic blocs in the world is the best guarantee we can have for the future success of our businesses and of our country.
*We believe that our best future is as members of the European Union."