As a small business owner, I have been watching the coverage of the various party conferences to learn just what each party is going to do to help ease the lives of the millions, like me, after the election next year.
Coincidentally, I unearthed a Jimmy Somerville compilation CD. As I read down the play list, the titles of the songs were exactly the words coming out of my mouth as I listened to the politicians who were trying so hard to win my vote in 2015.
‘Why? It Ain’t Necessarily So!’ So many things unanswered and so many sweeping statements with no proper reason or explanation. What I heard left me ‘Disenchanted and Screaming’ at the TV because their view of ‘Tomorrow’ does nothing substantive to help people running businesses. Quite the reverse in some cases!
Obviously that is contrived, but then messages I wanted to see coming out of the conferences were that:
- red tape and compliance costs were going to be cut;
- HMRC would be reviewed root and branch to work with businesses;
- the draconian and impractical employment laws would be relaxed for smaller businesses; that there would be more incentive for businesses to grow - so many rules kick in when a business reaches a certain size;
- we would see a big rise in the VAT threshold keeping lots of tradesmen who deal mainly with domestic consumers out of the VAT threshold making it easier for them to make a living without having to raise their prices just because they need to charge VAT;
- enforceable and effective sanctions for persistent late payers.
Unlike those in jobs, there is no minimum wage for the self-employed and many really are living in Breadline Britain still, despite the economy showing signs of picking up. Many can’t get credit because they are self-employed or, if they do, they pay a premium rate for it. During the recession, many have drained their savings and maxed out their credit cards to cover the consequences of late payment by customers or even bad debts so are paying interest at high rates, whilst their late paying customer is watching Sky TV on their brand new 3D TV.
Whoever wins the next election will be the one that has policies that help to stabilise the backbone of the British economy – the small business. To quote more from Jimmy – ‘Read My Lips’, ‘Make Me (Us) Feel Mighty Real’ and give small businessmen ‘Something To Live For!’