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Off Balance: AA’s CFO not quite AOK on Labour policies

FINANCE CHIEFS tend to stay out of politics, Off Balance has noticed. Some would say that finance chiefs rarely stick their head above the public domain parapet on anything.

So it was nice to see the AA’s CFO, Martin Clarke, giving plenty of space on page two of today’s City AM to reveal his wishlist for what a political party would do to win his vote in the General Election.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he calls for “investment in industry” as top of the business agenda. Certainly not in spendthrift mode, he say there is a real opportunity for “modest” amounts of public money to be used alongside commercial and retail sources of funding to create industries of the future.

Despite Clarke declaring himself a Labour supporter, he described the party as “the worst offender” in “crude politically motivated policies that have nothing to do with their stated intent”, citing the mansion tax as a cynical ploy to punish bankers.

He also wants a proper culture of philanthropy in the UK, with tax concessions and structures that mirror the US. Clarke also calls for someone to have the courage to admit that “throwing money” at the NHS is not the solution.

Off Balance is intrigued at how, given Clarke’s wishlist, his party of choice will manage…

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