It’s Up the Poll looks at how the parties fare on business issues

Tower Mill, Dukinfield
The reopening of Tower Mill has seen the return of cotton spinning to our area. Will its interests be considered in the next parliament?

Theresa May and Co have called this General Election on the grounds of sealing the Brexit deal. Is there more to this than our status outside the European Union? Will there be a good deal for small businesses as well?

The vitality of our economy depends on the state of our public services and infrastructure as well as trading partners. Once again, in Haiku form, we condense hundreds of words into two five syllable lines with a seven syllable line in between.

The Labour Party:

Late payments clampdown,
National Investment Bank,
Corporation Tax change.

For some voters, Labour has been hailed as a more pro-small business party. Especially with plans to clamp down on late payments. SME sector businesses have complained for years about late or non-existent payments from clients, which have led them to their demise. Labour’s proposals will be similar to those seen in Australia, where binding arbitration and fines are imposed on persistent late payers.

With business investment levels and borrowing at low levels, Labour’s stimulus is the creation of a mainland European style National Investment Bank. This will be supported by regional development banks, bridging the gap in small business lending.

There will be changes to Corporation Tax with a two stage system restored. The standard rate could be raised to 26%, which is still the lowest rate alongside other developed countries. Small businesses would be given a reduced rate, possibly at the same levels of 2020’s proposed 17% rate.

The Green Party of England and Wales:

Faster broadband speeds,
RBS as peoples’ banks,
Small businesses backed.

The Green Party aims to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of business taxes with crackdowns on tax evasion. With investment in high speed broadband, there could be fewer trips to the office and more working from home.

Their most radical proposal is a change of status for the Royal Bank of Scotland. The part-nationalised bank could be restructured into a network of Peoples’ Banks (see also the original premise of the Trustees’ Savings Bank, TSB).

They also back small businesses, and aim to support mutuals and cooperatives. Start-ups and credit enterprises could be boosted with community credit and green investment schemes.

Conservative Party:

Low business taxes,
and SME public sector
Purchasing boost.

There are few giveaways nor differences from the previous parliament’s policies other than Brexit and trade deals. Between the lines, they are on track to ensure Corporation Tax reaches 17% by 2020.

One interesting part of their manifesto is a change to public sector procurement measures. It suggests a one in three quota of purchases by central government bodies from small businesses.

Their Future Britain Funds proposal aims to foster SME sector businesses, pretty much in the same vein as a sovereign fund. It is claimed the first revenue stream could come from shale gas extraction.

United Kingdom Independence Party:

Coastal Enterprise Zones
Local trade boosted,
A late payments clampdown

UKIP’s manifesto is the only one of the six we have seen with a fillup for seaside towns. They suggest a scheme that will improve the commercial value and tourist potential of, for arguments sake, Margate. They also see themselves as the champion of small businesses, proposing a blitz on late payments and the introduction of (a minimum 30 minutes) free parking in all towns, cities, and neighbourhood shopping centres.

UKIP would also like to boost the role of SME sector companies in government contracts. This echoes the Conservative party’s plans. For recruitment, they favour giving British citizens top priority in the labour market – thanking Gordon Brown for the “British Jobs for British Workers” quote.

Liberal Democrats:

EU integral
To stability as well
As prosperity.

If you look at the business end of the business section of the Lib Dems’ manifesto, the European Union and continued membership of the single market is the main subject area. They also believe in a diversity of business types, especially mutuals and cooperatives (as seen in the Green Party manifesto).

Other proposals include the creation of a business and retail strategy which looks at the technological impact of labour markets. They also state that business rates should be reviewed to consider potential burdens on small businesses.

Monster Raving Loony Party:

Business can be fun
With a loophole free tax system
And Nectar points too.

The Monster Raving Loony Party aims to reduce tax loopholes by making the taxation system complicated. Furthermore, taxpayers could be given Nectar points from the HMRC.

*                               *                              *


Next up on It’s Up The Poll! 2017

We shall be looking at the policies which affect you, in relation to the parties standing east of the M60 motorway.

S.V., 07 June 2017.

One thought on “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Business and the General Election

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