Feeds

Mandelson puts reassuring arm around small firms

Hopes to give 'backbone of economy' government leg-up

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Comeback kid Lord Peter Mandelson will tell MPs later today that he is attempting to speed up the release of £1bn of European Investment Bank money for small businesses.

The government has also pledged to pay small businesses within 10 days by working closely with NHS trusts in England, local authorities and other public sector employers.

It said that regional agencies that spend around £750m annually, today have signed up to this target.

Mandelson, who is the newly appointed biz secretary, is also expected to ask banks to go easy on beleaguered firms.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. We know they are worried about what is happening – and we know we must do all we can to help them through these difficult times,” he said.

“Our builders, traders and manufacturers need steady cashflow to remain resilient. This is why we in government have agreed to pay our suppliers as soon as possible – and our target is less than ten days.

“We are looking at other ways the government can help and give the lead.

“Smaller companies need to be able to borrow if they are going to survive and thrive when we see the economy improve.”

Unsurprisingly, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the move.

“Increased regulation can impact the growth potential of small businesses so a postponement of changes to flexible working will provide respite for businesses,” said FSB national chairman John Wright.

“We are also pleased with the government's proposal to pay bills to small businesses within ten days. To this end we have also written to local authorities urging them to undertake similar measures and to pay their small business suppliers as early as possible.”

The FSB also urged the government to listen to the Tory leader David Cameron’s demands for a six month VAT holiday for small firms, a postponement in the increase of the small companies tax rate, and a one pence cut in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for firms with under four employees, to help shore up funds.

The Professional Contractors Group, which represents many IT freelancer in the UK, agreed with Cameron’s call for emergency tax cuts during the current economic downturn.

“[The] proposals by the Conservatives show that they recognise the importance of small businesses and the huge contribution that they make to the UK economy,” said PCG managing director John Brazier.

“They clearly do not want to see small businesses going to the wall and they are coming to their aid. However, I would like to remind all political parties that it is the IR35 legislation as well as the imminent ‘income shifting’ tax that concerns our members most.”

The contractor group has been calling on the government to abolish its IR35 tax legislation. Many have argued that it saddles freelancers with excessive tax pay-backs up to six years after completing a job.

“Whilst the credit crunch grabs the headlines and a cut in national insurance is a welcome proposal, we will continue to lobby against IR35 and the income shifting proposals – both are unworkable and unfair and are resented by the tens of thousands of freelancers out there who feel they are being penalised for their hard work.” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.