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

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