The 2015 General Election is almost upon us and the political parties have released their manifestos, and with it their promises for the country’s health and wealth. With the rise of entrepreneurship in the UK, small businesses are getting a good deal of attention from politicians, but which party promises the most for startups and small local companies?
We’ve created a summary that highlights the key offerings from each of the main parties and how their election will affect you and your small business.
Lib Dem Summary
The Lib Dems promise to:
- Reform business taxes making small and medium-sized enterprises the priority for any business tax cuts.
- Reform the Regulatory Policy Committee to remove unnecessary business regulations and instead focus on creating markets and driving investment.
- Complete the ongoing review of Business Rates in England to lessen the burden on smaller businesses, helping to ensure high streets remain competitive.
- Introduce Land Value Tax (LVT), which would replace Business Rates in the longer term, enabling the reduction or abolition of other taxes.
- Ensure UK Trade and Investment and UK Export Finance prioritise exports of green products and technologies and encourage the creation of green financial products to bring capital into green industries.
- Complete the rollout of high-speed broadband, to reach almost every small business in both rural and urban areas.
- Build on the success of Tech City, Tech North and the Cambridge tech cluster with a network across the UK acting as incubators for technology companies.
- Support fast-growing businesses and ‘scale-ups’ to create a million jobs over 20 years.
- Promote entrepreneurship in schools.
- Increase the National Minimum Wage
Key quote: “Our economy will be thriving, delivering balanced growth with jobs that last in every nation and region. Government will take a long-term approach to supporting business and industry, helping supply credit, skilled workers and infrastructure. Britain will be the place to be if you want to thrive in advanced manufacturing, science, creative, digital and green industries.”
Labour promise to:
- Improve productivity by building long-term investment and supporting small businesses in their growth.
- Drive innovation and build on digital technology to help transform the cost of start-ups and make sure all parts of the country benefit from affordable, high speed broadband.
- Give small businesses a voice by introducing the Small Business Administration, ensuring procurement contracts are accessible and regulations are designed with small firms in mind.
- Address rising costs for small businesses and strengthen rules on late payment.
- Put small businesses first in line for tax cuts and then freeze business rates for over 1.5 million smaller business properties.
- Develop a banking system so that small and medium-sized businesses can get the finance they need to invest and grow.
- Increase competition on the high street.
- Ban an increase on VAT
- Maintain competitive corporate tax rates
- Increase the National Minimum Wage and introduce Make Work Pay contracts to provide tax rebates to firms becoming Living Wage employers
- Ban zero-hours contracts
Key quote: “An inclusive wealth-creating economy works when there is a shared sense of responsibility, so we will be a government that is both pro-business and pro-worker. We value all our businesses as organisations of innovation and wealth production, and we will work strategically with them to create wealth.”
The Conservatives promise to:
- Help businesses create two million new jobs to achieve full employment.
- Give businesses the most competitive taxes of any major economy
- Back small firms with a major business rates review
- Continue to help smaller businesses take on new workers through the Employment Allowance, which frees businesses from the first £2,000 of employers’ National Insurance Contributions so that a third of employers pay no jobs tax.
- Provide extra support for high street shops by increasing the business rates retail discount to £1,500.
- Conduct a major review into business rates by the end of 2015 to ensure that from 2017 they provide clearer billing, better information sharing and a more efficient appeal system.
- Treble the successful Start Up Loans programme during the next Parliament so that 75,000 entrepreneurs get the chance to borrow money to set up their own business.
- Raise the target for Small and Medium Size Entreprises’ share of central government procurement to one-third, strengthen the Prompt Payment Code and ensure that all major government suppliers sign up.
- Establish a new Small Business Conciliation service to mediate in disputes, especially over late payment.
Key quote: “This Government was the first in post-war history to reduce the burden of regulation. We will cut a further £10 billion of red tape over the next Parliament through our Red Tape Challenge and our One-In Two-Out rule. This will support our aim to make Britain the best place in Europe, and one of the top five worldwide, to do business by 2020”.
UKIP promise to:
- Give 20 per cent rate relief to any small business with only one property and with the rateable value of less that £50,000. Introduce a late-payment scheme where small businesses can appeal to HM Revenue & Customs and offenders of repeated late payments will be subjected to substantial fines.
- Pilot a scheme to improve access to trade credit insurance to small businesses and the government would back a portion of the risk to enable cover to be provided more widely.
- Push every local authority in the country to offer at least 30 minutes free parking in town centres, high streets and shopping parades, to encourage shoppers into our town centres and boost local business.
- Repeal EU Regulations and Directives that stifle business growth allowing traders to sell in whatever quantities or measures they like.
- Make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses with 250 employees or less to tender for public sector contracts, by removing the necessity to demonstrate compliance in areas irrelevant to the job being tendered for.
- Allow young people to start an apprenticeship in place of four non-core subjects at GSCE level
- Cut fuel bills through the abolition of ‘green levies’ to cut business costs.
Key quote: “We find our greatest innovators and entrepreneurs within our small businesses. The businesses they start and grow will take us out of the economic turmoil we’ve suffered in recent years and back into the black”.
This summary was written by company formation agent EuroStart Entreprises. Helping small and medium sized businesses open a company, or expand their operations throughout the UK, Europe, US and the Emirates.