Ok. So it was a bit long yesterday. Sorry about that. But I hope you got the point about the need to smack Gordon Brown with his own record. And nothing underlines the paucity of his record more than his total lack of understanding of the needs of the small business sector.
The Department of Trade and Industry, despite Government spin, has proved to be immensely unfriendly to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. You only have to look at the Audit report of 2006 to know what a mess the Small Business Service was in and to recognise that 3000 different schemes were falling over one another to spend tax-payers money without providing the help that small businesses needed.
The patchy performance of the regional development agencies provide another area of concern and they have not achieved the sort of success with business that I would want to see and, I assume, would you.
The very clever Mr Brown in 2002 eased the rules for incorporation of one-man businesses, many of whom were consultants, allowing them to gain from the ensuing tax benefit whilst at the same time letting the Government boast of a massive increase in business creation, which of course it never was.
Sadly, the Chancellor then recognised his mistake and in this year’s Budget over-corrected by laying a massive tax increase of 16% on small businesses. This might have helped to compensate somewhat for his mistake but certainly hit those genuine small businesses that wanted to grow. Make no mistake Brown is not known as the Clunking Fist for nothing.
Gordon Brown’s record of supporting business creation and development is unimpressive to say the least, and he underlines that fact by appointing a Cabinet devoid of any real business experience.
In a world of ever increasing global competition, Britain’s wealth-producing sector has to be at the very top of its game if it is to continue to produce the wealth that all our services rely upon, and on which the future of all our children and grandchildren depend.
Is Gordon Brown the man to help business achieve that objective? His record suggests otherwise and we should be prepared to say so on every occasion.
Brian Binley MP