The Conservatives have been in sole power for almost two weeks and expectations are riding high especially amongst the business fraternity. Back in April, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed an audience of business owners in London at the launch of the Tories’ small business manifesto, during his address Cameron enthusiastically promised to make Britain “the startup nation of Europe, the start up nation of the world.” According to the small business manifesto, the conservatives pledge to increase the number of start ups to 600,000 per year.
The small business manifestos’ other notable highlights include:
- Reward entrepreneurship by conducting a review into business rates by the end of 2015
- Treble the number of loans via the Start Up Loans programme
- Support small businesses by tackling late payment
- Support fast –growing business with the launch of the Help to Grow scheme
- The continued delivery of ‘superfast’ broadband available to businesses through grants of up to £3000
All looks good on paper and has made for some interesting sound bites, nevertheless, how does the Tories pledge to business, great and small resonate with actual business owners?
Roger Wade, owner of a small import/export business is not entirely convinced:
“I’m a bit of a hardened cynic where politicians are concerned, they (politicians) are not exactly known for keeping promises, they have five years to prove me wrong.
“If the Tories are able to support businesses by implementing regulation to protect against late payment, I would find this particularly beneficial.”
Joshua Raymond, Chief Market Strategist at City Index, was a tad more optimistic and equates our new government with a sense of stability:
“With a majority government, the Conservatives now have more authority and crucially the votes, to pass key parts of their manifesto into legislation. Furthermore, a majority government brings stability for the next five years. There won’t be another snap election, and as long as the whip keeps backbenchers in check, stability should breed confidence. That means there is no risk of a non-dom tax, no mansion tax and their aim to cut the balance deficit quicker than the other parties also fits in well with ratings agencies and government debt owners.
“The key risk from a Tory majority government is the potential for the UK to leave the EU, which will be hinged on the EU referendum that is likely to be due in 2017. There are already rumours that the Tories could bring this referendum forward and this could create even more uncertainty for the GBP given the recent spate of nationalism that has epitomised the election results.”
SME’s have long formed the backbone of our economy and will continue to exist whether the Tories fulfill or renege on the promises made in their small business manifesto.