SMEs react to Sajid Javid’s economic vision as the major parties prepare to woo voters

Jenny Tooth, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, and Luke Davis, CEO IW Capital, asses the relationship between Sajid Javid’s vision and SMEs

Speaking in Manchester, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid has announced the fiscal vision for Britain should the Conservatives be elected to be the ruling party at the next General Election. Setting out his three rules for fiscal policy, a clear shift from previous Conservative Party policy regarding rates of borrowing was the headline announcement. Whilst maintaining that fiscal responsibility and spending within their means was imperative to the Conservative’s vision, investment increases are now central to Javid’s plan, increasing the limit of investment spend by the government to 3% of GDP, theoretically creating an extra £20bn per year.

With John McDonnell’s vision to be laid out in Liverpool later today, business leaders have reacted to Sajid Javid’s speech and the implications of the Conservative vision set out for the electorate.

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, commented:

It seems that both political parties are going to attempt to win over voters in the regions. With Labour and the Conservatives announcing their economic visions in two of the great northern cities, just 20 miles apart, speaks volumes. For too long there have been investment disparities across our country. The independent UK 2070 Commission unveiled earlier this year found that the UK was one of the most imbalanced developed economies. Given that 99.9% of British businesses in the UK are SMEs, more simply has to be done by whoever controls the offices of power in Whitehall to provide greater assistance to regional SMEs. It seems that the Conservatives are putting forward a vision to increase investment opportunities across the nation, but we need to wait and see from the other parties to conclude just how seriously the major political parties value SMEs in the UK.”

Luke Davis – CEO of SME investment provider IW Capital comments:

“Economics are seemingly becoming more and more central to the campaigns of the major parties as they set out their policy for the upcoming election. Economic growth is clearly essential for job creation and future prosperity, but one area that has not so far received very much attention is the SME arena. SMEs employ around 16million people in the UK – half of the private sector workforce – and contribute around £2trillion to the economy. Unlocking the latent potential and ambition in these firms could prove to be a powerful catalyst to wider growth and new jobs. The UK’s greatest industrial asset is our people and their ideas, translating this into tangible growth will require support and continual investment, but cannot be ignored.”

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