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Peter Kyle MP roundtable addresses business issues with members in Hove

Peter Kyle (pictured, centre left), the MP for Hove and Portslade addressed a group of FSB business owners at the Dock Hub in Hove. On the agenda was support for the retail sector and skills for young people as well as the current Brexit position. Peter also considered local business questions put to him by the group which included the availability and cost of business premises and contracting with the City Council for supply of goods and services.

Peter spoke about his involvement in developing better rail services on Brighton Mainline to London – one oldest lines in the Country and about homelessness in Brighton – which is at the highest rate in the UK, outside London. Whilst plans for free night shelters and food banks were working, the City still had a problem with street begging and, together with the City Council, measures were in place to deter this, preferring to move those in need to more sustainable options for care and shelter.

Martin Searle, Development Manager (pictured, far left), shared with Peter the FSB’s briefing on supporting the self-employed – helping the 4.8 million climb higher. This includes straightforward policy measures such as freeing the minimum income floor cap on Universal Credit from one to two years,  to encourage and enable unemployed people to get a business off the ground. 44% of FSB’s self-employed members said lack of certainty of earnings is one of their top three challenges. 

Other measures include tax relief or vouchers to undertake training vital to developing their business expertise, fairer treatment in assessing access to finance and financial products and pension planning. Peter was informed that FSB research shows  less than a third (31%) of self-employed said they were saving into a private pension.

“It is important that Government policy adapts to changes in our economy. Many people including disabled, unemployed and those caring for dependents are finding running a business is an innovative way to earn money and sustain their financial independence. This new wave of entrepreneurial spirit needs to be backed by Government.” said Martin Searle. A series of FSB roundtables are being held across the South East to push for this. With the 4.8 million self-employed representing 15% of the workforce, and contributing over £270 billion to the UK economy, it is a group that is here to stay.