UK employers slam 196 billion pounds cost of Labour renationalisation plans

LONDON (Reuters) – A British employers’ group criticized on Monday what it said would be the “beyond eye-watering” cost of the opposition Labour Party’s plans to return utilities, train companies and the Royal Mail to public ownership.

FILE PHOTO: Postal workers move mail bags from a van at a Royal Mail sorting office in Altrincham northern England, February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

The Labour Party has moved sharply to the left under its leader Jeremy Corbyn, and although it lags the ruling Conservatives in opinion polls, Brexit turmoil and the likelihood of an early election could see it take power.

The Confederation of British Industry said Labour’s plans would have an upfront cost of 196 billion pounds ($249 billion), assuming Labour paid the full market value of companies involved – similar to a 176 billion-pound estimate made last year by the pro-privatization Centre for Policy Studies think tank.

“The price tag for Labour’s renationalization plans is beyond eye-watering,” CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said.

“Firms want politicians to invest in major infrastructure projects rather than undermine confidence in our economy and waste time, energy and public money in a renationa


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