Feeds

Mandelson puts reassuring arm around small firms

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.” ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?