Chuka Umunna full speech British Small Business Administration

here is my three pennies worth of what I think of the three main political parties.

Notice how all the political parties are beginning to drop various hints on how they all want to help small and medium businesses yet this is the most busiest sector that the three political parties fail to aquatically address. To be frank I have seen small business come and go over the years but nothing like the grand scale under this coalition remember for those of us with very long memories will recall under Maggie Thatcher ruling UK at the time of her premiership she in cases some of the right said that she was the best thing since slice cake whilst there are still many people still living now who remembered her for attacking the coal mining industry  which includes small business.

Now here comes what really is on my mind to sum it up in a nutshell David Cameron could not give two monkeys about small businesses like all previous Conservative leaders they are being controlled or driven by big businesses and dare I say it London City there you go I’ve said it.

There is no easy way of saying other than saying he is all mouth with very little action in other words a nodding donkey with the backing of big businesses pulling his strings there is two folds to this argument firstly it’s to boost his party’s electoral prospects by persuading small businesses that they have something to fear Labour and the Tories will champion their causes which includes fears over red tapes.

Secondly he is a great manipulator of public sympathy  (as let’s not forget before he became a politician he use to work in PR) for small businesses to hand big cooperations what they want.

By watering down legislation over health and safety, coupled by further watering down race relations act, and sex discrimination act for small businesses it’s no surprise the Tories hope this will undermine the case for committing the corporate sector to observe certain minimum standards. I’m sure this will do nicely for for the Tory coffers during the election time which David Cameron will say “Thank you master it’s a pleasure to do business with you do knock on my door again”

He and his party has no concept of discrimination on the basis of race or gender which seems to be way over their heads and understanding and I will go further to include health and safety. Welcome to the Victorian era Nasty Party.

So is it not surprising hence Lynton Crosby appears now the so called campaigns strategy director of the Conservative Party who claims that the Nasty Party no longer worries about seeing it as the party for being nasty as Theresa May called it.

Notice no sooner than Labour Party mentions the words 50 pence tax raise all of a sudden all the Tory donors, CBI and wannabe MPs start their attacks via the Tory rags by alleging that it would put the economy at risk which includes cost investment and jobs now where have we all heard this before Er whenever Labour Party is in opposition and getting ready to be a Labour Government elect.

What a darn right cheek of the Conservatives of accusing Labour of putting a political convenience above good economics by which David Cameron acknowledged that 60% of the voters supports our Ed Balls plans.

The question is how many rivers has people have to cross to realize that they are being conned by the coalition by suggesting or implying that they are the party of low tax, low regulation economy will drive away investment and frustrated so called wealth creators that is the total is as 60%.

Take for example:

Maggie Thatcher she said on the 8 Feb 1984:

I think all of you will know that I have a special sympathy with small businesses because I was brought up in one.

There was no 9 to 5 routine. We seemed to be on the go the whole time. Number 10 is like that, and I still live over the shop. But then many of our large companies began life that way.

So, today, I want to pay tribute to the work and achievements of the Small Business Bureau, which is certainly not small and certainly not bureaucratic, but is most definitely businesslike.

I want to pay special tribute to Michael Grylls—a tireless advocate of your cause. He and the bureau felt there should be a special conference at which your voice could be heard.

I am reminded of some lines which might easily have been spoken by someone just starting up his own business:

“You’d scarce expect one of my age

To speak in public on the stage;

And if I chance to fall below

Demosthenes or Cicero,

Don’t view me with a critic’s eye,

But pass my imperfections by.

Large streams from little fountains flow,

Governments never do everything you want. But I hope you find this Government—and the Minister responsible, David Trippier—always ready to listen and quick to respond

This Government believes in small business. Not in an attempt to turn the clock back to the days of yeomen and craftsmen, although they derived enormous satisfaction from their work. But because small firms are indispensable to the creation of jobs and of wealth.

Firms with fewer than 200 employees produce about a fifth of our national income; employ one in four of the total workforce; and provide one job in three in the private sector.

Those are impressive figures. But nothing like so large as in other industrialised countries.

We must learn the lessons of their success and we are beginning to do so. Look around and you will see the part that small firms are playing in economic recovery and creating jobs.

There is a company in Middlesbrough, established with the help of the British Steel Corporation. It is now running a successful pattern-making service for industry. Many of its staff had previously been made redundant by a larger firm making precisely the same products. How did the small firm seize the opportunities which the large firm missed? By taking decisions quickly, by keeping overheads low and by abandoning restrictive practices. There is no room for demarcation disputes in the small firm.

Small firms can be a seed-bed for new ideas and a testing ground for new ways of working. They often lead the way in new products and new services. They put the customer first. They have to, to survive in a fast-changing world.

In the small firm, it’s not “them” and “us”. All pull together in the same team. You may have seen the case of Readhead’s Ship Repairers in South Shields. Following a management buy-out, the company worked through the Christmas break to complete an order on time. Three cheers for such people.

We support small businesses because they embody freedom and independence. They are the roots of a free society. For in the words of one American President:

“Energy in a nation is like sap in a tree; it rises from the bottom up; it does not come from the top down.” ( Woodrow Wilson 1912).

We seek a society

— where people make their own choices and take responsibility for their decisions.

— where rewards are related directly to one’s efforts.

— where people have a stake in its success.

— where individual initiative rather than the diktat of Government provides the driving force.

You will ask what the Government is doing for small firms. The Government is providing positive help. This is not to create dependence on government. That’s the last thing we want. And it’s the last thing you want. Our objective is fair competition, with no loading of the dice in favour of large business or of government. You are busy enough without having to dance to the tune of government departments. “Too many forms”, you say. I agree. So we have already scrapped hundreds of returns. And there is a further bonfire to come.

We have introduced new employment laws to prevent a powerful union from oppressing a small company. As we saw recently in Mr. Shah, a businessman with courage can exercise these new rights in the face of the strongest pressure.

To help small firms gain access to finance, we created the Loan Guarantee Scheme. So far, it has enabled over 13,000 small businesses to borrow around £440 million.

£25 million of new equity money has already been raised for small business through the Business Expansion Scheme. It is now up to you to make full use of this imaginative scheme.

And the Enterprise Allowance Scheme—since it went national last August—has allowed 23,000 people who were unemployed to become self-employed.

The Government has speeded up the slow machinery of local planning applications. We intend to keep the pace brisk.

Of course, too many schemes can be confusing. You don’t know quite where to start. So a major exercise is now under way to group more than sixty of them into a small number, each with its own clear purpose. I have asked for this to be done by May.

Industry too is doing much to help itself. Many of you, I know, take part in local enterprise agencies, showing people how and where to start. With 187 enterprise agencies already in existence, and another 50 now in the pipeline, we are well on the way to 300 in three years. I want to thank large firms for all the support they give to enterprise agencies.

There are major opportunities too for small firms in government purchasing. But they must compete for them. Rightly so, as government purchasing depends on obtaining value for money. No taxpayer would ever wish selling to government to be a soft option for any part of the business community.

But in selling to government, as in other activities, small firms can face particular disadvantages. We are overcoming these by simplifying the procedures and by telling you more about the opportunities which exist. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Defence have produced special booklets on how to go about it.

We need to know more about just how successful small firms have been in attracting public sector business. A study is under way and once we know the facts, we will come forward with more proposals.

All of these different measures help in their own way. And even at a time of recession, a firm can achieve its own recovery. But what happens in the wider economy, at home and abroad, matters most of all. So how do I see our economic prospects?

Many things are going well. Today we have the lowest rate of inflation since the 1960s. Rising activity, which was patchy at first, is spreading across the economy. We now have the highest rate of growth in the Community. Recent CBI surveys have shown optimism growing with each successive month. Last year was a record for consumer demand, 1983 the best ever for new car sales.

These successes are a victory for honest money. For years UK governments tried to beg and borrow their way to economic success. Instead, they fathered a massive inflation and destroyed both jobs and growth. We fell a long way behind our competitors.

Our present recovery is not based on a high and unsustainable government deficit. It is not a short-lived boom on the back of inflation. At last we are beginning to perform more like our better overseas competitors.

Productivity is growing rapidly. Our goods are becoming more competitive. We have a healthy balance of payments surplus. We have paid off many of our overseas debts. Capital investment is thriving, with companies transforming their operations by buying new machinery.

It’s all very different from the inflationary boom which petered out in the winter of discontent. This time there are no prices or incomes controls waiting to release their coiled spring and knock recovery on the head. There is now a government dedicated to making markets work again: a Government with many years ahead, if I have my way.

But why as our economy recovers does unemployment stay obstinately high? Why are new jobs coming in profusion in the US whilst in Europe and the UK unemployment is still rising?

In the last twenty years jobs in the US increased from 71 million to 103 million, a faster growth even than the population. In the last ten years in Japan jobs have risen from 51 million to 56 million.

Yet in Western Europe though the workforce has grown, there are three million fewer jobs than in 1974.

Practically all those new jobs in the US came in small and medium sized businesses. They came because the US still has an enterprise culture. Creating wealth is a virtue not a vice. Their markets work more smoothly than ours, pricing people into jobs quickly and allowing them to move around the country more freely.

We must do the same. We have begun the task of changing attitudes and breaking the shackles on the market. We have brought down inflation but we must go further. Our costs are rising only slowly, but in this world doing better than last year is not enough. Our competitors are also getting better year by year. We must not fritter away our opportunity in another expensive round of wage increases, giving more to those in jobs at the expense of those who need jobs. It is no earthly use if wages are so high that you cannot sell the goods. That is the way, not to prosperity, but to penury.

We know increased employment will not be secured by high government spending. We have rediscovered an old truth. It was the 1944 White Paper on Employment Policy which said:

“Without a rising standard of industrial efficiency, we cannot achieve a high level of employment with a rising standard of living.”

The pattern of our economy is changing. It is changing with pain. But there is no future in trying to rebuild the industry of a past age. But change frightens many, spawning dangerous fallacies.

Some seem to think that the only real job consists in making something. Build a ship, assemble a car, make furniture and you have a proper job. Earning a dollar abroad from financial services, from making a film, or running an airline, is not a real job. But you know that jobs come from meeting a market need, producing what the customer wants at a price he will pay. Services are every bit as important as making things.

Some foster the fallacy that technology destroys jobs. Of course, the power loom and the spinning jenny put paid to cottage industry; and the railways the canals. No doubt the coming of the motor car put many blacksmiths out of work. But technology creates new jobs as well. There were more jobs in textiles in this country after the discovery of the power loom than before. Who fifty years ago would have predicted all of today’s jobs in television or air travel?

Some see new jobs coming only in the hi-tech industries. But, as US experience shows, many jobs have appeared in traditional services such as catering and retailing. Some divide industry into the sunrise and the sunset. But this division ignores the power of technology to revitalise older industries such as textiles. Only by putting the microchip and the computer into textiles or motor assembly do those industries stand a chance of survival.

Finally, let me dispel the fallacy that there is only so much work to be done. Some think that as productivity increases, the work must be parcelled out, through early retirement and work-sharing. In truth, better working practices lead to higher wages, which in turn increase demand.

Why does Japan have such a low rate of unemployment when it has such a high rate of productivity growth? Because they know that embracing change is the key to new jobs; work is not limited for those who compete successfully.

In the past, the forces of technology increased concentration and favoured large enterprise. In the industrial revolution, production was drawn to the sources of power and raw materials. The revolution of the motor car was capital-intensive, requiring large assembly plants and refineries.

Today the telephone and the computer terminal are reversing those trends. In promoting small businesses, the Government is working with the tide of technology. The revolution of information technology can usher in a golden age for smaller firms.

There are already signs that our efforts to promote small business are bearing fruit. Despite the recession, 20,000 more businesses registered for VAT in the three years to 1982 and the number of self-employed, having fallen for many years, rose from 1.9 million in 1979 to 2.3 million in 1983.

Running a small business involves great risks. But to run those risks the rewards must be there. That means that taxes must be cut.

We have already reduced the rates of income tax. We have increased personal tax allowances by more than inflation. Had we left untouched Labour’s income tax regime you would be paying £1½ billion more in income tax today. We have kept our promise to cut income tax. At the same time we have cut Labour’s pernicious tax on jobs—the National Insurance Surcharge—from 3½ to 1 per cent. A reduction worth some £2 billion a year to the private sector.

If we are to reduce taxation, we must hold down public expenditure. Almost every week at Question Time in the House of Commons, I am asked by Opposition MPs both to increase spending and cut taxes. It has never been part of this Government’s economic policy to repeal the laws of arithmetic.

The pressures for more public spending are remorseless. But the Government will resist them. Even though we may be opposed by powerful interests our duty is to speak up as well for the taxpayer, the ratepayer, the businessman, the wealth-creator. In a free society, government must leave more in the pockets of the people, to spend as they decide.

We need your support for this. It is not enough to raise your voices in protest at high taxes whilst joining the clamour for more public spending. If you will the end you must also will the means.

The same goes for our rate-capping legislation. Loud are the cries from the local authority unions and the free-spending councils. Rates are the largest single tax that business pays. But the domestic ratepayer pays only two-fifths of all rates. You, the businesses of Britain, pay three-fifths. I look for your vocal support in the fierce debates ahead.

I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society—from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation.

A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.

This means creating a new culture—an enterprise culture—which accords a new status to the entrepreneur and offers him the rewards to match; which breeds a new generation of men and women who create jobs for others instead of waiting for others to create jobs for them.

That is why this Government has given so much attention to the promotion of the small business.

It is not simply that tall oaks from little acorns grow. Small businesses are the very embodiment of a free society—the mechanism by which the individual can turn his leadership and talents to the benefit of both himself and the nation.

The freer the society, the more small businesses there will be. And the more small businesses there are, the freer and more enterprising that society is bound to be.

So my message to you today is quite simple: we will do our best for you, so that you can do your best for Britain.


Prime Minister David Cameron  on the 27 Jan 2014 will announce plans to:

  • make it vastly easier and cheaper for businesses to meet environmental obligations – by March 2015 Defra will have slashed 80,000 pages of environmental guidance saving businesses around £100 million per year
  • help house builders by cutting down 100 overlapping and confusing standards applied to new homes to less than 10 – these reforms are estimated to save around £60 million per year for home builders, equivalent to around £500 for every new home built

David Cameron is expected to say:

Supporting business is a crucial part of our long term economic plan, creating jobs and security for all. That is why, among so many other things, I have insisted on slashing needless regulation. We will be the first government in modern history to have reduced – rather than increased – domestic business regulation during our time in office.

This will make it easier for you to grow, to create jobs and to help give this country the long-term security we are working towards. More than 1.3 million new jobs have been created since I came to office – many of them by small businesses. And I know many of you want to grow further – or may be thinking of employing your first person – but have been put off or held back by red tape.

So we have trawled through thousands of pieces of regulation – from the serious to the ridiculous, and we will be scrapping or amending over 3,000 regulations – saving business well over £850 million every single year. That’s half a million pounds which will be saved for businesses every single day of the year.

I know that while we struggle to bring down domestic regulation, you fear an ever-greater pile of EU-inspired bureaucracy. That’s why I’ve led the fight in Europe to bring an end to this, and continue to press the Commission to implement the 30 recommendations from my Business Taskforce.

This government has already stopped needless health and safety inspections. And we will scrap over-zealous rules which dictate how to use a ladder at work or what no-smoking signs must look like. We’ve changed the law so that businesses are no longer automatically liable for an accident that isn’t their fault. And the new Deregulation Bill will exempt 1 million self-employed people from health and safety law altogether.

Let me just give you a few more crazy examples dreamt up in the past by Whitehall bureaucrats. Employees used to be able to sue their employer if they were insulted by a customer. We’ve changed the Equality Act to stop that. Shopkeepers used to need a poison licence to sell oven cleaner – we’re scrapping that. And today I can announce that we will also:

Make it vastly easier and cheaper for businesses to meet environmental obligations – by March 2015 Defra will have slashed 80,000 pages of environmental guidance saving businesses around £100 million per year.

Help house builders by cutting down 100 overlapping and confusing standards applied to new homes to less than 10. These reforms are estimated to save around £60 million per year for home builders – equivalent to around £500 for every new home built.

And as of earlier this month we have scrapped the ridiculous rule that childminders who give food to children have to register as a food business as well as a childminder.

Make no mistake, this government will support you when you need us. This is the government that:

  • is cutting £2,000 for every business from your jobs tax
  • has provided £1.1 billion package of business rates relief
  • is providing £100 million of broadband vouchers to get business online and exporting
  • has cancelled the increase in fuel duty, saving the average small business with a vehicle £1,300 on petrol by 2015
  • as of today, will give 20,000 small businesses up to £2,000 to help grow

As a business eligible for all of these things, that would be a saving of over £10,000 on these things alone.

So I am here to say we will let you get on with what you do best – enterprising, innovating and – most importantly – creating jobs which give this country the long-term security we need.


The business secretary, Vince Cable, on Monday evening infuriated his Conservative coalition colleagues when he chose the eve of the publication of the latest GDP figures to warn that Britain was experiencing the wrong sort of economic recovery and said his party was not wedded to the pace and scale of deficit cuts after 2015 set out by George Osborne.

He said: “There are different ways of finishing the job … not all require the pace and scale of cuts set out by the chancellor. And they could allow public spending to stabilise or grow in the next parliament, whilst still getting the debt burden down.”

His remarks can be interpreted as putting him closer to the position set out by the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, at the weekend.

Cable warned that weak exports and a hoarding of cash by businesses meant “the shape of the recovery has not been all that we might have hoped for”.

The business secretary said the recovery was under way, but stressed that the UK should avoid another damaging boom-bust in the housing market by building more homes.

In a significant political move, he signalled his clearest parting of the ways with the Conservatives over deficit reduction when he opposed the chancellor’s plan to save an additional £30bn in the next parliament.

“It is a case which he [Osborne] is perfectly entitled to make in a party capacity; but let us all be quite clear that this is a political and ideological commitment,” Cable said in a lecture to the Royal Economic Society. “The Liberal Democrats will reduce the debt burden but ensure this isn’t done at the expense of public services and the most vulnerable in society.”

Cable argued that the additional £30bn austerity proposed by the chancellor after 2015 went beyond the joint coalition commitment to eradicate the structural part of the UK’s current budget deficit – the part of non-investment spending that will not disappear even when the economy has fully emerged from the recession of 2008-09.

His remarks suggest the Liberal Democrats will not necessarily vote for the deficit reduction plan Osborne intends to put to MPs this autumn in an updated charter for fiscal responsibility.

Osborne originally conceived the vote as a way of isolating Labour. But Cable stressed: “The Liberal Democrats differ on ways of finishing the job – we want to ensure this isn’t done at the expense of public services and the most vulnerable in society. It does not necessarily require the pace and scale of cuts set out by the chancellor.

“Undoubtedly some on the Conservative side of the coalition see fiscal consolidation as a cover for an ideologically driven ‘small state’ agenda. Indeed, it is one thing to respond to a record deficit after a long period of rising public spending, as we have since 2010. It is quite another to continue cutting hard from a position where the debt burden is falling and when spending has been under pressure for half a decade.”

Noting that there was a case for the state to exploit record low interest rates to boost public investment, Cable said: “Some of the proposals to extend deep spending cuts on departments and welfare far into the next parliament have more than a whiff of ideology: slashing for its own sake.”

Cable said the immediate outlook for the economy was encouraging – a view likely to be underlined when the Office for National Statistics publishes its first estimate of growth for the fourth quarter of 2013. The City expects expansion of 0.8% in each of the second and third quarters to be followed by a 0.7% increase in activity in the three months to December.

“A real recovery is taking place,” Cable said. “The big question now is whether and how recent growth and optimism can be translated into long-term sustainable, balanced recovery without repeating the mistakes of the past.  We cannot risk another property-linked boom-bust cycle which has done so much damage before, notably in the financial crash in 2008.”

Cable said it was “disappointing” that a 25% devaluation of sterling had done little to improve Britain’s trade performance and said the political uncertainty caused by the Conservative pledge to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU was “deeply unsettling” for firms operating in the single market.

Cable said a third of mortgage debt was held by households who had borrowed more than our times their income. “The US subprime mortgage crisis and its British equivalent were built on the shaky foundations of encouraging mass home purchase in inflating markets and we know where that led. It must not happen again.”

He warned: “Unless our government put long term rebalancing at the heart of economic decision-making I believe the recovery could prove to be short-lived.”

Labour would set up a British Small Business Administration – Umunna

Will be modelled on the US Small Business Administration and spur growth opportunities for small firms and improve business support

The next Labour government will create a Small Business Administration to help Britain grow its way out of the cost of living crisis, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna will say on Monday.

Modelled on the successful United States Small Business Administration (SBA) which works strategically across government, the UK SBA will work to improve the support available, identify opportunities and remove blockages to business growth, ensuring the voices of small businesses and entrepreneurs are better heard in policymaking.

It will help spur greater opportunities for small firms as part of the growth agenda including through procurement and ensure there is access for small business to government schemes and key innovation contracts. It will gather information on how departments can benefit from working more closely with innovative small businesses and enable them to thrive, as part of a wider industrial strategy.

This will be part of Labour’s drive to make BIS more business-focused with greater enterprise expertise and more effective delivery.

The creation of a British SBA is one of the key recommendations of a report to Labour by Lord Andrew Adonis, published this week, into making BIS the world’s most effective business department and examining how machinery of government can better support businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses backs the idea of a UK version of the US SBA, which was also a recommendation of Labour’s Small Business Task Force led by business people and chaired by former Hewlett Packard Vice President Bill Thomas and the late Nigel Doughty.

The SBA working in conjunction with the British Investment Bank which Labour has committed to establish supported by a network of regional banks to boost finance for small business, will carry out much the same functions as the US Small Business Administration but for UK PLC.

Mr Umunna has had meetings with SBA officials in Washington DC during three visits to learn from best practice overseas in developing Labour’s plans.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP will make the announcement in remarks at the Federation of Small Businesses Annual Policy Conference in London.

Giving remarks at the FSB Annual Policy Conference in London on Monday, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP will say:

“So Britain can grow its way out of the cost of living crisis and build a balanced recovery built to last we need to do all we can to help our small businesses grow, create new jobs and meet their aspirations. We need government to be a better servant – and customer – of our small businesses and to make sure that entrepreneurs’ voices are heard at the top table. A UK Small Business Administration is necessary to realising this ambition.

“Based on the best examples from around the world, a UK Small Business Administration would create a step change in the opportunities for small businesses from government procurement and improve the quality of support available, operating along a proper British Investment Bank and a network of regional banks to ensure that start ups and established firms can access the finance they need.”




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