Nov 21, 6:36 AM EST

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered business leaders a trade-off Monday, pledging more investment in science and technology while insisting that the benefits of private enterprise must be more evenly spread around the country


AP Photo
AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Multimedia
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
The U.S. jobs report on Friday made one thing clear: President-elect Donald Trump will inherit the same two-track U.S. economy that bedeviled his predecessor

Many black Americans and people with only a high school education found jobs in November, helping reduce their unemployment rates to levels seen before the Great Recession ravaged the job market

If you were looking for a job last month, you might have found plenty of opportunities in white-collar offices, health care, construction and restaurants

Spain's conservative government says it hopes to bring in an extra 7.5 billion euros ($8 billion) in taxes to help bring down its budget deficit next year to close to the 3 percent level permitted by the European Union

Egypt's president has imposed a second increase of tariffs on hundreds of imported products

The government of Iraq is hoping a new OPEC deal will help the war-weary country generate enough revenue to help pay for its costly, 2-year-old fight against the Islamic State group

American factories expanded for the third straight month in November

The unemployment rate in the 19-country eurozone edged down further in October, to 9.8 percent from 9.9 percent the previous month

Russian news agencies are reporting that President Vladimir Putin has appointed Deputy Finance Minister Maxim Oreshkin to take over the economic development ministry, replacing an official who is facing corruption charges

International investors pledged billions of dollars on Tuesday as the Tunisian government tries to drum up support at an investment conference to keep its young democracy from falling into economic collapse

Interactives
Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt

LONDON (AP) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May offered business leaders a trade-off Monday, pledging more investment in science and technology while insisting that the benefits of private enterprise must be more evenly spread around the country.

May warned those attending the Confederation of British Industry conference that business has been undermined by a limited few who have damaged the reputation of many. Whether fair or not, she said things had to change.

"When a small minority of businesses and business figures appear to game the system and work to a different set of rules, we have to recognize that the social contract between business and society fails - and the reputation of business as a whole is undermined," she said.

The comments were offered as part of a grand bargain of sorts, in which May promised support and investment in the rocky days ahead as the country prepares to leave the European Union. They acknowledged a nation still suffering from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis - one from which many households have not recovered.

She pledged more investment in research and development, hoping to make the country a leader in science and technology. As part of that effort, May declared that Britain will commit to investing an extra 2 billion pounds a year ($2.4 billion) by 2020 in research and development in hopes of putting the country at the cutting-edge of science and technology.

The goal is to help fuel the economy at a time when Britain is leaving the EU following the referendum in June.

But she also suggested she might slash corporate taxes, matching promises made by Donald Trump to cut rates during his successful campaign to become president of the United States.

She said her goal was for Britain to have the lowest corporate tax rates among the Group of 20 countries. The rate now stands at 20 percent and is expected to fall to 17 percent by 2020. Trump has promised a tax rate of 15 percent.

"Now we want to go further, and look at how we can make our support even more effective - because my aim is not simply for the U.K. to have the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20, but also a tax system that is profoundly pro-innovation," she told business leaders.

The investment in science is set to be the first step in May's industrial strategy, which is "not about propping up failing industries or picking winners, but creating the conditions where winners can emerge and grow."

May also stressed that she will "always believe in business," even as she insisted that those benefits must be more widely spread around the country.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.