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The revolving door: how big business has colonised UK politics

The increasing number of ministers and senior civil servants recruited from the private sector to government ensures that policy favours big business

Our new report highlights the way business ideas have become entrenched in the UK political process.

The report warns against the ‘corporate colonisation’ of Government, citing a number of different ways through which figures from business have entered into Government, including:

The report also highlights the 1,000 business appointments taken up by outgoing Ministers and civil servants between 2000 and 2014 and their potential to use their knowledge of Government to exert undue influence on behalf of their new employers.

High Pay Centre director, Deborah Hargreaves said: It is useful for politicians and Government officials to be able to draw on experience of working in the private sector. At the same time, a balance has to be struck. Private companies exist to make money, first and foremost. They have different values to the public service ethic we expect of Ministers and civil servants.

The interests of big business and the interests of society are already too easily confused in public debate. They are not synonymous, but a Government dominated by former business leaders risks governing as if they are.

It is only natural that those with long professional careers working to maximise the profits of major corporations will favour policies that help big business  when in Government, even at the expense of employee welfare or the environment, for example.

Download report

Posted on 25 March 2015

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