Days away from the first live political debate between the leaders of the three major parties in the UK; it seems that each party is attempting to position itself as the ‘SME Party.’
While Labour’s manifesto promised to keep tax rates ‘competitive’ and cut any over bureaucratic red tape, on the back of their recent claims that company formation in the UK was too ‘difficult’, the Tories pledged to make the UK the easiest place in the world to form a company and grow a successful business, by reducing corporation tax and cutting plans to increase National Insurance.
However, if a recent report conducted by HSBC’s commercial banking division is to be believed, regardless of any attempts each political party makes at trying to win SME votes, most small business owners do not feel that any political party truly represents them and their needs.
The poll, which included over a thousand small business owners, found that over forty per cent felt no allegiance to the Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat parties. Indeed, when asked to identify major figures in each political party, almost thirty per cent could not do so. But after what has been one of the most difficult economic downturns this country has ever seen, is now really the time for apathy. James Horne, business advisor to the FSB, doesn’t think so:
“While I accept that in a context where MP’s have been caught fraudulently dealing with expenses, many small business owners may have lost faith in the political system now is not the time to apathetic. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and understand better than anyone how enterprise functions in the UK, therefore it is vital the have a say on how it will function in the future.”