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Self-employed call to new Small Business Minister
by Susie Hughes at 11:34 10/01/18 (News on Business)
Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uxbridge, has been appointed the new Small Business Minister in the recent Government reshuffle.
Mr Griffiths has been an MP since 2010 and has previously been Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Before entering Parliament, he worked for his family engineering business and also for a building society in property and finance.

His main Parliamentary interests to date have focused around his constituency, often related to the local brewing industry. He is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group [APPG] – a role, he says, he attaches great importance to given the thousands of people employed in Burton by brewers and pub companies.

Reacting on Twitter, Mr Griffiths said: "Thrilled to be appointed Small Business Minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Representing Burton and Uttoxeter will always be my first priority but I look forward to getting started on the business brief."

He will operate as the responsible Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Business, Industry and Enterprise.

Freelancer group, IPSE, immediately called on the new Small Business Minister to make self-employed the centre of future strategy and to create
supportive environment for the UK’s smallest businesses, the self-employed.

For some time now, IPSE’s Freelancer Confidence Index has shown that Government policy is the biggest factor driving down freelancer confidence.

Simon McVicker, from IPSE said: “We urge Mr Griffiths to build on Margot James’s commendable work and give the self-employed – who contribute £255bn to the economy every year – their deserved place at the centre of his strategy. In particular, Mr Griffiths should ensure that as Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal has real power to crack down on poor practice such as late payment – a serious problem for many of the UK’s self-employed community.

“We also wish to work extremely closely with the new Minister on acting on the recent Taylor Review of Modern Employment Practices, which placed huge emphasis on defining true self-employment and ‘good work’. This is a major area in the Government’s programme and it is essential we build widespread agreement around it.

“Undoubtedly, the confidence of the self-employed has taken a dip in the last year, both because of the uncertainties around Brexit and some ill-advised policies from the Government – such as the attempted change to NICs and the introduction of stringent new rules around IR35 in the public sector.

"However, Mr Griffiths now has a great opportunity to rebuild trust between the self-employed and the Government. We therefore look forward to working with him to build confidence and create a supportive business environment for this vital sector of the labour force.”

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