Shadow Chancellor George Osbourne unveiled four measures that the Tories hope will 'one that helps small companies grow, instead of strangling them at birth.'
The proposals are:
- Asking Lord Forsyth's Tax Reform Commission to consider the feasibility of aligning the period of charge for the national insurance and income tax systems.
- Making it mandatory that all government bodies list available contracts on the 'Supply2gov' website so that small businesses can bid for them, and examining whether the widespread local government practice of requiring three years of accounts from bidding companies should be curbed.
- Asking Adam Afriyie, the Chairman of the Conservative's Deregulation Taskforce, to set out clear proposals to embed a more business-oriented culture throughout government, so that civil servants develop a better understanding of the impact of new regulations on the small business community.
- Examining proposals to increase the level of small business involvement in adult education policies, at both local and national level, and increasing the role of the business community in designing professional skills courses and qualifications.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the move.
Its national chairman, Carol Undy, said: "Our members constantly report to us that a poorly-skied workforce, excessive red tape and tax, and a closed market for Government contracts re the main barriers to their growth.
"Small businesses employ 12 million people, half the private sector workforce, and contribute 58 per cent of UK GDP. It is therefore vital to the country's economic wellbeing that these problems are addressed to allow small firms to provide more jobs in the future.
"The FSB is apolitical and works with any political party that will advance the cause of our members. These proposals from the Conservative Party certainly do that and we warmly welcome them."
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Susie Hughes © Shout99.com 2006