The UK’s recovery will depend on the strength of British business and its success in competing for markets at home and overseas. Whatever its size — small, medium, or large — business needs the right conditions to do well: a competitive tax system, freedom from strangling regulation from the UK or the EU; access to credit and a labour market which encourages employment and the able and entrepreneurial to find and keep jobs.
What steps are needed if policy is to encourage such recovery? On 25th March, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, delivered Politeia’s Spring Address. Discussing the priorities for policy if business is to recover and grow, he considered the concerns of business, including tackling both poor and over-regulation, accessing finance, and competing in a global market.
Successful economies take many forms, fostering growth and entrepreneurship across a range of business models. The UK today has around 4.5m businesses which employ 23 million people. Most of these (90 per cent) are small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees. What is less well known, however, is that business takes many legal forms. These range from sole proprietorships (2.8 million ) to partnerships (450,000), and limited companies (1.3 million).
Whatever their model, all business must compete, not just at home, but internationally for their goods and markets. Government policy can make a huge difference to whether business can compete successfully at home and abroad and grow without the burdens and costs that can hold back success. With Recovery and Growth at the centre of the policy agenda, what steps are needed to encourage the different UK business models?
On 19th March, Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Minister for Government Policy at the Cabinet Office, spoke at Politeia on A Diverse Economy—Diverse Business Models as part of Politeia’s Recovery and Growth Series.
This event was kindly supported by the John Lewis Partnership
As Barack Obama begins his second term at the White House, US economic data suggests the economy may grow relatively rapidly by the end of 2013.
But, as Dr Irwin Stelzer explained, much will depend on what the politicians do. Will they avoid creating still more problems? And what about 'all those dollars' being printed to target unemployment? Dr Irwin Stelzer discussed what impact that will have over the long term, and on the new regime at the Bank of England.
UK scientists and scholars have often led their fields in research and discovery, breaking new ground in countless fields. It is, however, often contended that, as a country, the UK lags behind others in exploiting such success to commercial or entrepreneurial gain. The Coalition is keen to encourage scientific research and its development commercially. But is it going about it the right way, or do the policies need to change?
On Wednesday 6th March, Sir Gregory Winter, Master of Trinity College Cambridge and Deputy Director of the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology, addressed Politeia's Recovery and Growth series.
He discussed how scientists approach their work and what matters for success over the short and long term, with special regard to the pharmaceutical industry. He also considered how such discoveries might best be commercialised, discussing the ways in which government policy could help.
The debate in the UK has intensified over how best to promote economic growth. But there is strong common ground on the need to promote business and to cut the burdens which stifle enterprise, investment and employment. Without this UK businesses and employers will be held back from investing in future prosperity.
On Thursday 28th February, Politeia and The TaxPayers’ Alliance joined forces to consider how some of the fundamental questions of tax, regulation and costs should be tackled, if businesses are to flourish and grow. David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury set out the Government's policy.
Two distinguished economists took up the themes and considered the economic case for reform: Dr Ludger Schuknecht, whose Politeia study Going for Growth shows how fiscal and structural reform can succeed, and Allister Heath who chaired the TPA's 2020 Tax Commission, which proposed a strategy of lower, simpler transparent taxation.
Speakers considered such questions as:
- How can HMG promote growth and business recovery?
- What policies most effectively help business by reducing burdens and costs?
- What economic framework best helps business?
- What lessons can be learnt from overseas success stories?