With a record number of freelancers, contractors and startups across the country, the micro-business vote is a vital one at the 2015 General Election. With all the major manifestos now published, it’s time to take a look at what each party is offering the micro-business community.
You’re probably tired of hearing the phrase “Long-term economic plan” – but the Conservative Party have decided to hang their manifesto hat on the phrase they’ve spent the last five years introducing to the world.
The Conservative Party’s message is clear – stay the course, cut the public sector, make work pay (and lack of work not pay), and pay down the deficit.
You can view the Tory manifesto in full here. They key policies for freelancers and small businesses are:
We’re cutting income tax for over 26 million people, saving the typical taxpayer £825 a year from April 2015.
The pledge refers to the already-in-place £10,600 Personal Allowance.
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.
Measures included in the Conservatives’ Small Business Manifesto
David Cameron launched a separate Small Business manifesto on 27th April – here are the key measures included.
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 do you think?
Explore the other manifestos
Photo by DFID