General Election: what's being promised for businesses?
With the election approaching, what will the major parties do for you?
To say that British politics is chaotic feels like an almighty understatement.
After more than three years of Brexit debate, parliament is at a standstill and a second snap election in two years has been called. Businesses have repeatedly asked for certainty, and yet here we are facing what many are suggesting is the most unpredictable and volatile election in recent history.
Amidst the chaos, policies aimed at businesses are now being promised - and for small business owners, these policies and intentions are of great significance. So we've trawled through them and picked out the most notable...
The Conservatives' Brexit policy is now well known. It would push forward the deal with the EU that was recently negotiated, and which avoids a customs union with the EU. The UK would therefore leave the EU on 31st January, and the government would subsequently negotiate a trade deal with the EU.
- They will not reduce Corporation Tax to 17% as previously suggested - and will therefore keep it at 19%
- A reduction in National Insurance contributions made by businesses has been promised by increasing the so-called employment allowance from £3000 to £4000
- A Business Rates review has been promised with the goal of reducing the overall burden on small businesses
Labour has vowed to renegotiate a Brexit deal with the EU that includes a customs union and closer ties to the single market - something the majority of businesses have demanded. Labour would then put that deal to a public vote against the option to simply remain in the EU.
Other key policies include:
- Increasing Corporation Tax to 26% - which it points out is still lower than it was in 2010 (28%) and merely on par with the rates of the world's other major economies
- Training around 320,000 apprentices in construction, manufacturing and design to lead a so-called 'Green Industrial Revolution' in the renewable energy, transport and forestry sectors
- Reforming the entire Business Rates system to protect the escalating bills that are putting some companies out of business
The Lib Dems are campaigning on a simple promise to revoke Article 50 and for the UK to remain within the EU. Although a Lib Dem majority is clearly unlikely, this policy has got the attention of lots of business owners - particularly those who trade with the EU, or employ staff from within the EU, for example.
Otherwise, the Lib Dems are yet to offer many concrete business policies - they claim that remaining in the EU makes them the 'natural party of business'. But they have also promised to:
- Replace Business Rates with a levy on commerical landlords based on the value of the land
- Introduce a 'Skills Wallet' - a £10,000 fund divided across different points in a person's career which is exclusively for education and training
Still confused? The realtiy is that this election is hugley complex and each party offers very different benefits to different types of business owners. It's vital that all business owners do their homework ahead of the election, and get to grips with what each party offers their business, and their industry.