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FSB launches small business manifesto for 2017 General Election

The Federation of Small Businesses has outlined how it wants the next Government to help and support small businesses following the 2017 General Election.

Launching its small business 2017 election manifesto, FSB is highlighting the damage that could be done if the self-employed were singled out for tax hikes, including National Insurance.

The FSB small business 2017 election manifesto outlines what the organisation wants to see from whichever party or parties form the next Government.

FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry, said: “The UK’s army of 4.8 million self-employed are the backbone of this country and should be recognised for the value they add both to the economy and their local communities.

“Small businesses and the self-employed will be vital to a successful post-Brexit economy. Politicians seeking their votes should be on their side and against hitting them with extra costs.”

The FSB manifesto has six underlying principles.

1. Create small business export vouchers alongside export tax credits, to help small firms trade with new markets for the first time

2. Guarantee the rights of EU citizens to stay and work, including those that arrive right up to the point of UK leaving

3. Make the worst examples of supply chain bullying illegal - retrospective discounting, pay to stay clauses

4. Commit to co-fund apprenticeships in non-levy-paying businesses in England for the next parliament

5. Independent inquiry/Royal Commission to create new approach to business rates for 2022 based on ability to pay; to create a consensus and take politics out of the process

6. Protect small firms on our high streets and in our communities from chains, by creating a small business version of the Asset of Community Value

Mike Cherry added: “Brexit is clearly going to feature heavily in the election campaign, and rightly so. But it must not dominate debate at the expense of other important domestic issues for small businesses.

"There are a series of decisions required by new Government Ministers in their first 100 days in office. From export support to tackling our late payments crisis, to co-funding apprenticeships and a new consensus on the future of business rates, to the survival of small businesses on our high streets and in our communities.

"Our manifesto sets out what small businesses want to see from all major parties and candidates standing on 8th June. Millions of votes are at stake.”