Disposing of £10 billion of bureaucratic red tape for small businesses and freezing some of the key tax rates are the most notable components of the re-elected Tory government’s legislative programme.

Measures to reduce regulation on small businesses, making it easier to create jobs, was included in the recent Queen’s Speech, which sets out the government’s policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session.

Among the highlights is an Enterprise Bill, which will:

  • move forward plans to cut red tape and save businesses at least £10 billion in the life of the parliament
  • creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve business-to-business disputes without the need for court action, especially over late payment.
  • Improvement of the business rates system ahead of the 2017 revaluation, including modernising the appeals system.

Summing up the proposal, Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “This will be a no-nonsense bill to back small businesses and help create jobs.

“We will be asking businesses for evidence in the coming weeks and months. We want them to be our partners in identifying and scrapping needless burdens at home and in Europe. Its important government gets behind small businesses – enabling them to get finance, get paid on time and get rid of red tape.”

As well as this, the Queen’s Speech included plans to legislate so that nobody working 30 hours a week on the National Minimum Wage pays income tax and also to introduce a “tax lock commitment”, under which there will be no rises in the key areas of income tax rates, VAT rates or national insurance contributions (NICs) rates for individuals, employees and employers in the next five years.

This measure will also ensure that the NICs upper earnings limit – the point at which the employee NICs rate reduces to two per cent – is no higher than the point at which income tax increases to 40 per cent and that there will be no extension of the scope of VAT.

We at AIT think the Queens Speech and the proposals certainly are promising for small businesses throughout the land. With the economy seemingly on stable ground we hope and trust these proposals will help ensure that the economy goes from strength to strength in the years ahead.