What’s a responsible business? Try this list David Cameron

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The Left Economic Advisory Panel have reminded me that in The Courageous State there is a riposte to Mr Cameron to ‘responsible business’. It’s a 20-point charter setting out that “a good business”:

  1. Makes clear who it is so people know who they are dealing with
  2. Makes clear who runs it
  3. Makes clear who owns it
  4. Makes clear the rules by which it is managed
  5. Puts its accounts on public record if it enjoys limited liability, and does so wherever it is incorporated whether required to by law or not
  6. Seeks to comply with all regulation that applies to it
  7. Seeks to pay the right amount of tax due on the profits it makes in the place where they are really earned and at the time they really arise
  8. Seeks to pay a living wage or more to all who work for it
  9. Recognises trade union rights
  10. Operates a fair pay policy so that the pay differential between the highest and lowest paid in the company cannot exceed an agreed ratio that should never exceed twenty
  11. Makes fair pension provision for all employees
  12. Does not discriminate between employers on the basis of race, nationality, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and similar such issues
  13. Does not abuse the environment
  14. Has a clear code of ethics that it publishes and is seen to uphold
  15. Is transparent in its dealings with customers
  16. Seeks at all times to minimise risk to those it deals with and takes all steps to ensure they know what those risks are
  17. Accepts responsibility for its failings and remedies them
  18. Works in partnership with its suppliers and does not abuse them
  19. Advertises responsibly
  20. Creates and supplies products meeting real human need

I don’t expect Cameron to be writing this charter into corporate law any time soon. But he should.