After months of speculation David Cameron has been returned to Number 10 with a narrow Conservative majority, leaving the other major parties reeling and, for the most part, leaderless.
Shortly before the polls opened we polled 500 small business owners to see where their allegiances lay – around a third backed the Conservatives, with a quarter supporting Labour. It appears the small business community has had its voice heard, but now the big question: how will a Conservative-majority Government support the business owners who helped put it there?
Here are all the pledges made pre-election. We’ll be watching closely to see if Cameron keeps his promises.
You can view the Tory manifesto in full here.
Cutting the jobs tax – saving businesses up to £2,000 and enabling them to provide more jobs for hardworking people.
This manifesto promise appears to refer to the Employment Allowance, a policy introduced back in 2014.
Scrapping the jobs tax altogether for under 21s – so it’s easier for businesses to give young people a start in life
This refers to the abolishment of Employer National Insurance contributions for under-21s.
Investing in better infrastructure, including roads, rail and broadband – so it’s easier to reach customers
Cutting corporation tax – helping companies invest and grow
Getting rid of unnecessary red tape – freeing up businesses to concentrate on expansion
It’s worth mentioning the Red Tape Challenge here, the Coalition’s first effort to cut back on corporate bureaucracy, which had very little impact.
Raising the level at which people start paying the 40p rate from £42,285 to £50,000
Abolishing abuse of zero hour contracts
Funding all tax cuts and spending commitments with savings from more efficient and effective government
Cracking down on offshore corporate tax avoidance – so big multinationals pay their fair share
Pass a new law so that nobody working 30 hours on the Minimum Wage pays Income Tax on what they earn
Raising the point at which people start paying income tax from £10,600 to £12,500 – lifting 1 million of the lowest-paid workers out of tax altogether
These last two appear to be the same pledge – a worker earning the Minimum Wage working a 30 hour week would earn just over £10,000 per year, and would in fact already pay no Income Tax.
Keeping the Employment Allowance until 2020
We will put in place a new significantly higher permanent level for the Annual Investment Allowance.
Launch a review into tackling the disadvantages self-employed people face, including in access to maternity pay, pensions and mortgages.
Treble the number of Start Up Loans
Back small firms with a major business rates review and raise the target for SMEs’ share of central government procurement to one-third
Establish a new Small Business Conciliation service to mediate in disputes, especially over late payment.
What won’t they do?
David Cameron, speaking with IPSE Magazine shortly before the election, dodged a question on whether IR35 would be overhauled under a re-elected Conservative government, perhaps indicated there is little appetite for tackling the controversial legislation this Parliament.