Politicians to join business summit

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Political leaders will step up their pitch for business votes by addressing a major conference less than eight weeks before the general election.

Days after delivering his pre-poll Budget, Chancellor George Osborne will hail measures such as a review of business rates in a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conference.

But his credentials will be questioned at the Birmingham gathering in rival addresses by both Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Osborne said much of the economic revival he trumpeted in Wednesday’s statement ” is down to Britain’s small businesses, who take the risks, create new jobs, invest in their ideas.

“Our long term economic plan has the needs of small business at its heart – from getting public finances under control to reforming employment tribunals.

“The Budget builds on our record. We have announced a review of business rates, will abolish the annual tax return, and frozen fuel duty. Measures across the country will boost broadband, support apprenticeships, strengthen exports and increase access to finance.

“This is a pro-business agenda.

“Labour want to raise taxes on business, reverse our reforms to employment tribunals, borrow and spend billions more. My message is clear: they would undermine the recovery and risk the hard won success of businesses around Britain.

“We must stay the course. Our plan backs Britain’s businesses and will deliver a truly national recovery.”

FSB national chairman John Allan said: “Small businesses really are the backbone of the UK economy, employing 60% of the UK’s working population. We hope the Chancellor, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition lay out what they would do for this community if returned to government in May.

“Ahead of the election we have produced a business manifesto based on feedback from small businesses across the UK. It sets out what the next Government must do to support small businesses from when they are just starting out, to when they are looking to expand and hire even more staff. We hope to see much of its content included in the manifestos of parties seeking to form the next Government.”

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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