EXCLUSIVE: Tory MP refutes claim that Budget does not help small firms

Dan Martin
Former editor
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Conserative MP Rob Wilson has hit out at claims in an article on BusinessZone.co.uk that the 2013 Budget does not benefit small companies.

In a piece published today, entrepreneur Tony Robinson writes that the announcements made by the chancellor on Wednesday demonstrate that the government does not understand the issues small and micro business owners are currently facing.

One of the claims by other critics is that the government's headline measure in cutting £2,000 off employers' National Insurance contributions does not actually help because many small firms don't actually want to employ staff and would rather grow by outsourcing to specialists.

Questioned about the criticism by BusinessZone.co.uk during the opening of the new Reading office of technology company Fairsail, local MP Rob Wilson said: "That is wrong. It is the wrong interpretation of the annoucement and a misunderstanding of what small businesses want.

"I used to work in small companies and we had lots of problems with having the finances to grow and invest in new people. Many small firms would love to go for growth and expand but they need help to do it.

"£2,000 doesn't sound like a lot of money to a big business but it could be the difference between a small business hiring or not hiring the extra employee they really need."

About Dan Martin

About Dan Martin

Dan Martin has 10 years experience as a journalist writing about entrepreneurs and the issues that affect them.

After three years working as a researcher for Sky News, he joined BusinessEurope.com as a reporter. This was followed by two years working as news editor for Startups.co.uk during which time Dan also contributed to Growing Business magazine. In 2006, he joined Sift Media as business editor before being promoted to editor of BusinessZone.co.uk. He also has responsibility for UK Business Forums, the UK’s most active online forums for small business entrepreneurs. In addition, Dan founded The Pitch, BusinessZone.co.uk's nationwide competition for small business owners. He host the grand finals in 2009 and 2010 in front of an audience of 300. 

As well as interviewing many entrepreneurs, Dan has written content for leading business organisations such as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, British Chambers of Commerce, Forum of Private Business, Investors in People and Business Link for London. Among the publications that have quoted Dan are The Times, Mail On Sunday, Financial Times, Personnel Today and Bristol Evening Post. His articles have also been published by publications including eGov Monitor, Virgin Express in-flight magazine and Personal Success.

Dan regularly speaks at events about small business and social media issues. Among the events he has presented at are the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies' annual conference, Learning Technologies, Publishing Expo and World of Learning. He has also chaired high profile debates featuring senior representatives from Business Link and the Federation of Small Businesses and Dragons' Den judge James Caan.

Dan was named the 10th most influential political blogger on Twitter by the Independent and won the public award for best B2B tweeter at the Golden Twits 2010. He also organised the Bristol Twestival, part of a global Twitter driven charity initiative, in February 2009 and March 2010. Volunteers from 175 cities around the world organised events using the social network. In total, $350,000 was raised for charity: water in 2009 and $500,000 for Concern in 2010. In Bristol, £1,500 and £5,600 was raised.


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By tonyrobbo
22nd Mar 2013 15:18

 I said in the article published by Business Zone:

'For the last 15 years I've recommended that there should be no National Insurance as an incentive for a start-up to take on their first employee. I also backed Julie Meyer's recommendation that micro businesses (she said less than a £1m profit) should not pay NI. So it was churlish of me not to be grateful for the £2,000 off NI bills. To put the record straight; I am grateful.' In fact it is the most benefit to small businesses of any budget I've seen in my 26 years of trading. 

I also made it clear that the concerns I have are with all political parties and UK government favouring, often unfairly, bigger business. Such is this inequity that I would prefer Government to stop all funding and support to the private sector as that would be fairer and would allow more resource to go on the essential public services - health and social care are now in a bad way the big corporates are not.    

However, it is also true that I said that the arrogant and elitist behaviour of many politicians of all parties showed, by their words and actions on Budget Day, that they do not understand the real world of enterprise or care about any sections of society that are struggling to make ends meet. 

They do not understand why most business owners are now tired of seeing vote catching schemes to benefit the 5% of largest private sector companies and the highest paid, that are too important for us to lose to other countries despite what they've done to ours. 

Big Business is doing OK.  It is sitting on £730 billion in deposits, 47% of our GDP, and payimg less corporation tax and their top executive remuneration packages are booming, year on year. Is it too much for us to ask that Government ask the energy companies to reduce charges, passenger transport to improve their services, comms companies to provide free wifi in public places, like many other countries?

Government, all parties would do this, pours more and more £billions into enriching the Financial Sector in order for it to lend more yet most new businesses and small and micro business owners would prefer improved cashflow. That's easy. Government can specify in contracts that those corporates that supply Government or are beneficiaries of government funding pay all their suppliers within 30 days. It's not difficult for Government to create an enterprise culture - other countries do.   

They do not understand that the majority of the 4.5 million Micro Business Owners (95% of all business) in the UK work as hard and long as MPs but are earning less than a third of most MPs' expenses claims. We are working hard, we are working smart and we love what we do.  But the gloss of some great help for businesses of all sizes, with the excellent £2k cut from the NI bill, is lost in the extra support provided to Big Business.  Enterprise Rocks.   


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By ventauk
25th Mar 2013 17:25

I'm afraid that this kind of political posturing is all SMEs will get. £2,000, in the MP's own words, is not very much. Governments pretend to help the small business sector by announcing initiatives here and there and will even quote 'big' sums like £30 millions for SME start-ups. When you divide this sum by the total of annual start-ups in the UK, it comes to the princely total of £64 per start-up.

If government was serious about SMEs, they could make available a sum equivalent to 3% of the money spent in bailing out the banks and make a real difference. But they won't, because they would rather pretend to be 'doing something' without spending anything. I'm afraid that government hasn't a remote idea of how the economy works. Until MPS like Rob Wilson take the trouble to learn something about us, this country is going nowhere.



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