Business Minister In Islands For Manifesto Launch

Business Minister Matt Hancock (right) with Derek Thomas

Business Minister Matt Hancock (right) with Derek Thomas

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Energy was in Scilly yesterday for the launch of the Conservative’s business manifesto.

Matt Hancock was visiting the islands with the prospective MP Derek Thomas as part of a 100-day tour of companies across the UK.

Matt says he’s been asking business owners what the Tories can do to help them if they get re-elected next month and those responses have been incorporated into the document.

The manifesto was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in London. But Mr Hancock said he wanted to visit “the most far flung part of the UK” to show that the party’s support for small businesses “spreads across the whole country.”

He visited the Phoenix Art Workshops at Porthmellon, with whom he had an appointment, and chatted to businesses owners in town to find out what they see as business burdens or issues that hold back small enterprises.

The Minister said he’s heard concerns about the small things that can get in the way of a successful business, like access to finance and late payments.

And he says his party is committed to cutting red tape so companies can grow.

He gave examples of changes already made in the last Parliament, such as introducing a refundable fee for anyone starting an employment tribunal case and changes to the way health and safety legislation is interpreted.

Some companies in Scilly have complained that it’s difficult to employ staff when large public sector employers like the Council are paying high wages.

Matt says there’s “no doubt” that local government could operate more efficiently and believes his party’s policies will create a “levelling” so small businesses can pay more to their staff.

And he reiterated the importance of Scilly’s marginal St Ives constituency, saying that the Conservatives need 23 to get a majority and this was one of their target seats.

The full list of candidates for the General Election in the St Ives constituency, which covers Scilly, is:

Tim Andrewes – Green Party

Graham Calderwood – UK Independence Party

Andrew George – Liberal Democrats

Cornelius Olivier – Labour Party

Rob Simmons – Mebyon Kernow

Derek Thomas – Conservative Party



3 Responses to Business Minister In Islands For Manifesto Launch

  1. Ray Wornes April 29, 2015 at 10:56 am

    The 0.3% growth rate reported yesterday is likely to be revised upwards possibly to more than double that figure. However, that only brings the first quarter’s growth rate for 2015 back to what the Coalition inherited 5 years ago in 2010 which amounts to a disastrous economic performance. Is this our reward for 5 years of economic hardship? Today the Tories are proposing to make a law to fix three taxes for the next parliament. Income tax, VAT and National Insurance. That must leave a large number of other taxes that could be raised and even more benefits to cut as inflation starts to return to Gov’t expenditure. Otherwise it will be registered as Gov’t debt or increased borrowing or in more LA increases in Rates. And what about the absolutely enormous deficits that no one ever talks about that now exist because of those draconian Gov’t cuts and the postponement of essential capital investments? They have produced big shortfalls in services like the police, the fire service, all of the armed forces, the NHS and disappearing Council funding which we are now subsidising through increases in rates. All the chickens will soon be coming home to roost with even bigger cuts. Before this happens we should start asking the right questions such as how many patients have died across the country waiting for a Doctor’s appointment, waiting to see a specialist, waiting to go into hospital or as an emergency waiting for an ambulance or in an ambulance waiting outside A&E, on a trolley in a hospital corridor or just waiting months for treatment. The restoration of efficient, humane services could cost hundreds of billions to the next responsible Labour Gov’t. Another Con/Dem coalition couldn’t manage anything other than perpetual austerity. You’re right for once George – the economy is at a critical moment and without investment it could take another downturn because it doesn’t have the momentum it would have had if you had done your job and invested long-term in our industry and a growing economy. Perhaps we should be singing ‘Where has all the money gone?’ and ‘It’s a rich man’s world.’ This time it’s not just that there’s no money left – it’s that every Gov’t service is in dire need of massive financial restoration. Were those Ministers irresponsible or what?

  2. Ray Wornes April 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    5 years of an imposed recession and that unnecessary austerity will have driven part of the electorate away from both the Conservatives and the Lib/Dems. That could make a nonsense of the statement that the Tories only need 23 to get a majority. The rise of the Greens and UKIP and the revival of Labour will also reduce the chances of seeing a Lib/Dem or a Tory candidate winning the St Ives seat. After the 2007 Tory Banker’s Crash Labour laid the foundations for an economic recovery and in 2010 produced a growth rate of 0.7% and would have delivered a much faster recovery than has been delivered with all of the Gov’t cuts producing the slowest recovery in 100 years. The first quarter of 2015 has produced a poor growth rate of only 0.3%. For any business that has only just survived the past 5 years and is now facing major new Tory Gov’t cuts right after the election which will continue this austerity, I can’t see how any small business people can afford to vote for either the Conservatives or the Lib/Dems and put their businesses at risk again over the next 5 years. Do you really know this Tory Party? It certainly won’t be representing you.

    • Jonny Exile April 29, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I had a funny feeling that Wornesonomics would have something to say on this: what’s there for it to like about a party committed to cutting taxes and the size of the State?

      You see Ray, I’m thinking your opinions aren’t informed by any actual experience of owning a small business, or even working in one: am I right? If they were then surely you would understand that high taxes and government bureaucracy are amongst the main, if not the main, issues faced by small business.

      I don’t know if Wornesonomics extends to an understanding of ‘Crowding Out’ but that’s exactly what Matt Hancock’s referring to and it is happening on Scilly.