Responding to the Conservative Party election pledge to cut the jobs tax and business rates, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said “Cutting the jobs tax is a strong, pro-small business move, as it will help half a million small firms raise wages and keep more people in work. FSB has consistently championed raising the Employment Allowance and this was a central ask in our Back to Business manifesto, supporting small employees cope with increases in the National Living Wage.”

“A pledge to finally cut the burden of business rates is welcome – action on business rates has long been a priority of FSB’s small business members. This fundamental review should remove small businesses from the burden of an outdated, regressive tax that charges small firms before they make £1 in profit, let alone £1 in turnover. Switching assistance to prioritise upfront costs would make the UK a better place to start-up and run a business.”

“Small businesses – and their staff – will be relieved to see the issues that matter to their livelihoods placed firmly on the agenda at this election. A typical constituency has 25,000 people working in a small business, around 7,000 of whom are self-employed. Political parties should be competing to show how they could run a Government that improves their livelihoods, deals with rising costs and ensures small businesses remain a strong part of our local communities.”

“These measures lay down a gauntlet to other parties, and we hope there will be more to come at this election. Actions to reduce the cost of employment and fix business rates should be complemented with clear commitments to tackle the scourge of late payments and help ensure the Government is helping the self-employed. For example, through introducing a ‘self-employment legislative lock’ and measures to help the self-employed have better access to maternity, paternity and adoption support, and mortgages and pensions.”