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General Election 24: Deal not sealed for small business votes, as poll reveals more than half could still be swayed in election campaign

Business / Sun 9th Jun 2024 at 09:12am

MILLIONS of voters who run their own businesses are still to make a final decision on who they will back on polling day, according to a snap general election survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

It reveals that 96 per cent of small business owners intend to vote, but one-in-five (20%) have yet to decide which party they will choose, while a further one-in-three (33%) have a good idea who they will vote for but could still change their mind.

FSB’s research found 90 per cent of small business owners are concerned business taxes could rise under the next Government, while 92 per cent of small employers said they were concerned a future Government could increase the costs and risks associated with employing people.

More than half (53%) say they are concerned about small business energy costs over the next five years; more than six-in-ten (61%) are concerned about the level of inflation over the next five years.

The findings come as FSB publishes a manifesto for small businesses and the self-employed – a blueprint for whoever forms the next Government aimed at driving economic growth and increasing the small business community from 5.5 million back to its pre-pandemic size of six million within the next Parliament.

FSB’s Policy Chair, Tina McKenzie, said: “Small business owners and the self-employed are a shrewd and motivated part of the electorate.

“They’re used to weighing up competing offers when running their businesses, and it’s clear from our research that when it comes to the election they’re looking for which of the parties has the most compelling pro-small business offer.

“Small businesses are the key to securing economic recovery, driving innovation, and creating jobs in all parts of the UK.

“Our small business manifesto sets out the measures needed to create the conditions for that to happen, many of which do not involve additional spending.

“We’re looking to all of those seeking to form the next Government to show their commitment to the millions of hard-working voters who run their own businesses, including through a Small Business Act so we have new legislation to protect small businesses on crucial issues such as late payment.”

MANIFESTO PROPOSALS

FSB’s manifesto for small businesses and the self-employed sets out more than 150 specific proposals to cover the period of the next Parliament. These include:

Committing to a Small Business Act, legislating to help small firms by:

  • Enshrining in law measures to clamp down on big businesses with poor payment practices towards their smaller suppliers.
  • Improving small businesses’ ability to access finance, including closing loopholes in protections for those giving personal guarantees.
    Making a 33 per cent SME statutory public procurement target, increasing the involvement of small businesses in taxpayer-funded projects.
    Giving reassurance on tax:
  • Fundamentally reform business rates to help small businesses in all sectors.
  • Rule out increases in tax on dividends for directors of limited companies and National Insurance for the self-employed.
    Restore the small profits threshold for corporation tax to the previous level of £250,000 and pledge not to increase the small profits rate.
    Backing small employers, jobs and skills:
  • Automatically increase the employment allowance with the National Living Wage.
  • Maintain current co-investment rules to back small business apprenticeships.
    Reintroduce universal work experience into secondary schools.
    Encouraging start-ups:
  • Increase the number of start-up loans offered by 5,000.
  • Create a new ‘new enterprise allowance’ for those out of work looking to start a business.
    Make it easier for people working for themselves to get a mortgage and save for their retirement.
    Driving future growth:
  • Introduce a new Small Housebuilder Strategy, to ensure sufficient capacity to achieve ambitious housebuilding targets.
  • Commit to a target that at least half of all direct Government funding of private Research and Development (R&D) goes to SMEs.
    Provide consumer-style protections for smaller businesses when it comes to the energy market.
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11 Comments for General Election 24: Deal not sealed for small business votes, as poll reveals more than half could still be swayed in election campaign:

Adam
2024-06-09 11:22:41

Reform is the only vote to make the rest of the legacy parties have got us here. The tories have not been conservative high taxes and net zero, very anti business. Labour do not help the poor or worse off but trap them in dependence, plus many of their MPs seem to care more about Gaza than their constituencies. labour will hammer small businesses and dividends etc as they have no clue about business. Reforms 20K tax free limit alone should see them win the election, coupled with a reduction in corporation tax its a no brainer.

James Gamble
2024-06-09 16:56:33

Adam under Labour's last Government they gave us 10 years of growth. Businesses profited and workers earned more than they do now. Hospitals waiting times were lower and schools were improved. To me they didn't do enough even with all that.

Adam
2024-06-09 17:48:59

James of course that is why they raided pensions, created the BTL culture, introduced IR35 to kill off freelancing and of course sold the gold at low prices. Never mind enabling house price inflation which means most kids today will never own a home some progress for the workers putting them back in the debt slavery. This is before we thing about the economic never mind human aspects of the wars of aggression in the middle east. The reality is in 1997 they inherited a low debt economy which had recovered from a recession. This time around there is no money as both labour and cons have utterly destroyed it all. Labour will probably win but I suspect will teat themselves apart in 6 - 12 months when they cannot deliver on any of their promises.

James Gamble
2024-06-09 18:43:04

Adam By selling the gold they managed to save the banks from parasites like Rishi Sunak who was betting against the banks and made a fortune from doing it. In the days of Henry Vlll he would have lost his head for treason.

Adam
2024-06-09 19:13:27

James they sold the gold at the lowest price ever and well before the banks went bust it was 1999 to 2002. Today the price is 10x a great loss for as labour love to say what is a national asset

James Gamble
2024-06-09 20:29:44

A conservative leader with no respect for the fallen at Dunkirk and no idea of poverty. A BILLIONAIRE who's wife was a tax dodger until she was caught out and your lot are more right wing than him.

James Gamble
2024-06-09 20:34:54

Adam even with the sale of the gold Labour had 10 years of growth.

James Gamble
2024-06-09 22:29:56

Normandy not Dunkirk.

Woody
2024-06-10 11:18:34

James . When the Tories got in , in 2010 a note was left for The incoming Chancellor from Labour to say there was no money left . If they had been in power any longer they would have bankrupt the Country. So when they get in this time , which they will god help us. Gordon Brown had no respect for the voting public , insulting an elderly lady when his Mike was still on.

James Gamble
2024-06-10 12:34:03

Well Woody I expect the Tories will leave a letter saying 3 billion pounds debt Good luck with that. Labour had a worldwide economy crash contributed to by the likes of Rishy Sunak and his colleagues who better against the British economy and made millions if not billions of pounds.

Trace
2024-06-10 12:47:26

Woody, that letter was a joke, there tends to be a letter left whenever a change of political power, this one was the first published! And let's not forget we are in more debt now than ever before with absolutely nothing to show for it, everything is broken apart from theirs and their friends bank accounts. The cons are not the safe bet with our money as proven time and time again under this administration.

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