We all lose out when politicians ignore what business leaders have to say

City of London financial district

Businesses aren’t being heard in today’s political discourse CREDIT: REUTERS

There may be little public sympathy for senior business leaders who complain that the voice of business is not being heard. However, the absence of this voice in today’s political discourse – which in turn means that business’s messages are not cutting through on Brexit, for example, or on the UK’s economic management – should worry us all.

You might say that private enterprise has had a seat at the top table for long enough, and that the interests of those who have been under-represented must now be prioritised. But that response misses a critical point. The voice of business is important not because policymakers’ focus should be to help the private sector maximise profitability or deliver for its shareholders. Rather, it is the bigger picture that matters: democratic capitalism is a tide that lifts all boats – managed properly, it improves the living standards of society as a whole.