Labour knows that Britain only succeeds when working people and businesses succeed. That means thriving businesses creating more secure and better paid jobs across the country.
The Tories’ failing plan has focused on a narrow group of firms and individuals at the top, hoping that prosperity will trickle down to everyone else. Five years of their plan shows it doesn’t work. We’ve had the slowest recovery for 100 years, lending to business has fallen by over £50 billion, and small businesses are being held back by late payments and rising business rates. Britain can’t risk another five years of the Tories’ failing plan.
Labour has a better plan. We will support the hundreds of thousands of small businesses whose innovation and dynamism will drive our economy forward, to create the broad-based recovery we need to get the deficit down.
Labour will help control costs for small businesses, cutting and then freezing business rates for more than 1.5 million small business properties, while maintaining the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7. We will freeze energy bills until 2017, so prices can fall but not rise, while we reform the energy market to work better for business customers. We will tackle late payment by requiring larger businesses to set out the extent of late payment they have been responsible for, and the action they have taken to compensate suppliers.
And we will set up a Small Business Administration to work across government to reduce unnecessary regulation and ensure small businesses and entrepreneurs are better heard in policymaking.
We will ensure we make the best use of the talents of all our young people, with new gold standard vocational qualifications at 18 and guarantee an apprenticeship to every school leaver with basic grades. We will give employers more control over the funding and design of apprenticeships, in exchange for creating more high quality apprenticeships in their sectors and supply chains.
Labour’s plan will ensure every part of the country can benefit from the recovery, not just a few. We will boost lending with a proper British Investment Bank and a network of regional banks rooted in local economies, and devolve at least £30 billion of funding to city and county regions and reform Local Enterprise Partnerships so they are better able to deliver for local communities.
Labour’s plan will reward hard work, share prosperity and build a better future for Britain’s working people and businesses.
Labour’s Shadow Small Business Minister