In Prime Minster Theresa May’s Conservative Party Conference speech, the self-employed sector was pleased to hear her celebrate the contribution of the UK’s contractors, freelancers and small businesses.
Responding to this section of her speech, Simon McVicker, IPSE (The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed) Director of Policy, said “The Prime Minister made a very important – and very accurate – statement when she recognised the value of our innovators and risk-takers. The UK’s 4.8 million-strong self-employed workforce is essential for a strong, flexible and growing economy.
“The Government can help UK businesses of all shapes and sizes by championing the vibrancy and flexibility of the self-employed – those who enable businesses to create more jobs and boost innovation and dynamism.
“However, it is imperative that the Prime Minister delivers on her vocal support for the self-employed and makes sure the UK remains the best place to start and run a business.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) also commented. FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry, said, ”It’s heartening to hear the Prime Minister recognise that this country’s prosperity and living standards rest on the success of British business. Those who set themselves up in business are the wealth creators and the risk takers and for them to succeed we now need a Budget next month that clearly supports them.
“The Prime Minister is right that private enterprise is crucial but we disagree that economic confidence has been restored as evidence shows small business confidence is plummeting. Therefore, warm words are not enough. We now need to see business support that will help tackle the rising cost of doing business and unleash the prosperity the PM spoke about today.
He added, “Next month’s Budget is an opportunity for the Government to look to the future and finally put small businesses front and centre of its economic plans. We call on the Chancellor Philip Hammond to reform business rates fundamentally, simplify the tax system and deliver the investment in skills and training as well as the infrastructure that small businesses need. At the same time, there should be no diminution in reliefs and tax incentives for small businesses, which would have a disastrous impact on confidence.
“I welcome the commitment to boost housebuilding. But investment in housing is not just about large developments, but about small lots built by small business house builders who have been frozen out of the market.
“On the proposal for a cap on energy bills, micro businesses are just as much at risk of being ripped off as households in today’s energy markets and deserve the same protections. Any cap must not exclude British businesses who may end up subsidising household bills as a result.”
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