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Louise welcomes Labour’s plan to back small businesses

Small businesses are crucial to the local economy so Louise is delighted that supporting them is a key part of Labour’s economic plan.

Business_Forum.jpgLouise chairing event with Toby Perkins MP, Labour's Shadow Small Business Minister at Nifco UK based in Eaglescliffe (July 2013)

Supporting our small businesses by unleashing their full potential to create more good jobs and so raising living standards is central to Labour’s plan for prosperity, published this week.

Labour’s plan means the tax burden on small businesses in Stockton will be lower than under the Tories. We will put small businesses first in line for tax cuts and ensure smaller firms have the support they need to invest, innovate and raise their productivity.

The Tories have failed because they believed that rising living standards would come from cutting taxes for a narrow group of firms and individuals with wealth trickling down to everyone else. Our approach will instead back working people and the companies where the great majority of British people work.

Labour’s plan to back Britain’s small businesses will:

  • Put small businesses first in line for tax cuts.

We will cut and then freeze businesses rates for 1.5 million small business properties with a rateable value of less than £50,000. Labour’s plan means the tax burden on small businesses will be lower than under the Tories. We will look to go even further as we prioritise small businesses for future tax cuts.

  • Tackle late payment. 

We will tackle late payment with a new requirement on larger businesses to set out the extent of late payment they have been responsible for, and the action they have taken to compensate suppliers. We will also give business organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses the right to take cases on behalf of their members.

  • Ensure Britain has the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7 and continue supporting the Employment Allowance. 

Labour called for action on National Insurance Contributions in 2011 and the Government finally acted in 2014. Their mechanism, the Employment Allowance, is now bedded in so we will keep it and build on it.

  • Establish a proper British Investment Bank to boost lending for small businesses to grow and create jobs.

All funds raised from the planned increase in the licence fees for the mobile phone spectrum - estimated to be up to £1 billion in the next Parliament, subject to Ofcom consultation – will be allocated to Labour’s British Investment Bank.

  • Increase competition in the banking sector so that small firms get a better deal, following the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry.

We want to see at least two new challenger banks and a market share test to ensure the market stays competitive for the long term.

  • Reduce unnecessary regulation by asking our new Small Business Administration – which the FSB has called for – to co-ordinate work across government to benefit smaller businesses and cut unnecessary regulation.

Labour’s SBA will be given a remit to ensure regulations or requirements on small business are proportionate, appropriate, avoid any unnecessary burdens or compliance costs and are designed from the perspective of the smaller firm. 

  • Deliver a long term roadmap for capital allowances and incentives for research and innovation like the R&D tax credit, not just for the headline rate of corporation tax.
  • Improve support for entrepreneurs and SMEs who want to grow rapidly.

Leading British entrepreneur Simon Franks, who co-founded Love Film, is conducting a review for Labour on how we can best support early stage and high growth businesses which we will publish in the coming months.

 

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“Business rates have risen by around £1500 under this government and are an ever bigger part of companies’ overall tax burden. That’s why, instead of another corporation tax cut for large companies which helps fewer than one in ten firms, we will cut and then freeze business rates for small firms instead. This is the right priority when money is tight.

“As well as cutting business rates our plan will also tackle late payments, reduce unnecessary regulation and boost lending to SMEs who want to grow with a proper British Investment Bank.

“Every large business started off as a small business and I want to ensure smaller firms have the support they need to grow, invest, innovate and raise their productivity. Our plan will help small firms create more high skilled, high pay jobs which are key to raising living standards.”

 

Welcoming the announcement, Louise said:

“Small businesses are crucial to the local economy so I am delighted that supporting them is a key part of Labour’s economic plan. These measures will really help businesses on Teesside to grow, creating more job opportunities for local people.

As a small business owner and having spent a lot of time talking to others as a member of several Teesside business networks, I know of many of the challenges SMEs face, particularly accessing finance and recruiting people with the right skills. Labour’s plan will support local businesses all the way.”

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