Financial services key to UK economic recovery, says Tulip Siddiq MP

Reforming some “overly prescriptive” EU regulations is crucial to helping the UK financial services sector thrive and fuelling the UK economic recovery, says Tulip Siddiq, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

The Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn was speaking with Robert Vaudry, Managing Director of Discretionary Fund Manager Copia Capital Management [Copia], in a webinar on the prospects for the UK economy. Ms Siddiq said the debate on the future of UK financial services’ regulation had moved on from equivalence with the EU, recognising that “regulatory divergence will produce opportunities for the sector”.

She also highlighted the key role financial services must play in Labour’s industrial strategy. “Supporting the financial services sector to thrive will be fundamental to our economic recovery following the pandemic and the supply shock caused by the crisis in Ukraine, and to delivering the high growth in jobs and tax receipts we need to fund public services.”

During the webinar, Ms Siddiq addressed the current cost of living crisis and surging inflation, blaming the failure of the Conservative government to adequately prepare for the crisis.

She said: “Of course, there are global factors driving this crisis, but the poor policy decisions over the last 12 years, I feel, have left our country uniquely exposed. The UK is predicted to have the lowest growth and highest inflation in the G7 this year. It’s a national scandal and working families and businesses are paying the price.”

Among other remedies to provide help to individuals and businesses, she called for a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ profits and a reversal of the recent National Insurance rise.

Ms Siddiq also accused the Government of taking a “Wild West” approach to cryptocurrency regulation, arguing the UK risks falling behind its global competitors unless the emerging risks and opportunities posed by crypto assets are addressed.

Commenting on plans for the Royal Mint to create a government-backed non-fungible token (NFT), she said: “Rather than wasting time and money on Rishi Sunak’s NFT gimmick, the Chancellor should be focussing on properly regulating crypto asset companies… I want to see a regulatory regime that cracks down on criminals, harmful speculation and dodgy advertising in the crypto space.

“But I also want to see it allow innovative firms to experiment with blockchain technology. Smart contracts on blockchain have the potential to improve transparency in finance and create high skilled, productive jobs across the UK.”

The wide-ranging discussion also touched upon the ongoing hostage situation in Iran, following Ms Siddiq’s work to help secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the importance of investing in green energy innovation, and the need to balance taxation on earned and unearned income.

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