After five years as the minority party in a coalition Government – and collapsing support across the country – the Liberal Democrats appear ready to do the whole thing again.
Nick Clegg’s pitch to the electorate is basically “we’re good in coalition – let us do it again”, he famously said at the manifesto launch that the Liberal Democrats would “add heart to a Conservative government and a brain to a Labour one.” Their manifesto claims they will “cut £50 billion less than Conservative, [and] borrow £70 billion less than Labour.”
But what do Nick Clegg and co. have in store for the UK’s freelancers, contractors and micro-businesses if they serve another term as part of a coalition? You can read their full manifesto here, but we’ve broken down the policies affecting small business owners below.
Raise personal allowance to at least £12,500 – cutting taxes by an extra £400
This pledge matches what the Conservatives have promised.
Supplementary Corporation Tax on banking sector
Grow a high-skill, low-carbon economy by supporting education, training, infrastructure, innovation and technology
Build a better, safer banking system with improved regulation and more competition, while making sure that banks pay their share to repair our public finances.
Complete the separation of retail and investment banking. To increase competition we will encourage new entrants to the sector as well as innovations like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and community banking
These two banking pledges would presumably be supported by Vince Cable’s Business Bank, a business support scheme which has been in the making since 2012.
Clampdown on tax avoidance and use taxes on the wealthiest, on banks and big business and on polluters, to limit the impact of deficit reduction on public services.
Clampdown on tax avoidance – General Anti-Avoidance Rule – outlawing any more to avoid paying the correct tax
Invest more in the HMRC
This measure will be good news for any individual or business owner who deals with the taxman – HMRC’s customer service levels have been spiralling downwards since the department’s budgets were cut repeatedly since 2010.
Push for greater tax transparency from multinational corporations
Review the Living Wage
Require larger employers (with more than 250 employees) to publish details of the number of employees being paid below the Living Wage and the ratio between top and median pay.
End the Gender Pay Gap, requiring companies with over 250 employees to publish information on the difference between the pay of men and women on their staff.
What do you think?
Explore the other manifestos
Photo by Nick Clegg