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Small firms voice hopes for new government

More than half of small business owners want the new Conservative government to prioritise reducing regulation, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The Conservative Party won an unexpected parliamentary majority following the general election on 8th May, securing 331 seats in the House of Commons.

Following the results, a poll of more than 2,300 FSB member firms has found that 53% believe that over-regulation is the biggest issue to tackle over the course of the Parliament.

The top 10 issues identified by small firms over the next 5 year parliamentary term are:

  • reducing red tape (53%)
  • simplification of the tax system (51%)
  • business rates reform (44%)
  • develop employability skills of young people (41%)
  • invest in broadband infrastructure (39%)
  • support small businesses to create jobs (34%)
  • combat late payment practices (33%)
  • lower energy costs (30%)
  • improve access to finance for businesses (28%)
  • boost infrastructure investment (26%).

Mike Cherry, national policy chairman of the FSB, said:

"Today's wide ranging research sends a very clear message on what small businesses want from the new government - a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs.

"Over the 5 years of this Parliament, our member's top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people, and improve broadband and mobile connectivity."

Commenting on the election results, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, John Cridland, warned the government to not "duck the tough decisions" needed to maintain growth:

"The Prime Minister must create a pro-enterprise environment, by getting the deficit down, continuing to make the UK one of the most competitive tax environments in the G20."

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