The excellent Jeff Randall is asking readers who run companies with fewer than 100 staff to write in for a new Telegraph series – Real Business in Brown’s Britain:
“The aim is to cut through official hype and discover what it's like trying to make a living as an entrepreneur after 10 years of Labour in power. In addition to visiting five small companies - one each in Aberdeen, Southampton, Newmarket, Newport and Birmingham - I will be sifting through your views on issues such as start-up incentives, tax, health and safety rules, European directives, employment law, skills and recruitment...
This is an opportunity for you not just to right some wrongs, but also to provide positive feedback. If you think the Government or any of its business agencies are doing a good job, then let me know. The series begins on September 19, so there's still plenty of time to send in your accounts of enterprise in action." - Telegraph
The TaxPayers' Alliance has long campaigned on behalf of small businesses and the self-employed - window cleaners, printers, shop owners, electricians and many more - who are increasingly frustrated at the complexity of our tax system, the harm done by VAT and other taxes on profits which prevent growth and new investment, and the ever-rising tide of regulation. And this was all before Brown announced that the small business rate would be rising three points from next year. The TPA has heard from people who have been ruthlessly pursued by HM Revenue & Customs for the smallest of errors, and others who have struggled to keep their small businesses afloat in the face of rising business rates and payroll taxes.
Too often, when reported in the business pages of newspapers the economics of the issue fails to convey what impact high taxes and regulation has on real people and their livelihoods (even that word is used less and less these days). The same is true with stories about local government finance, which increasingly focuses on policy and the pointless consultations of local technocrats, and ignores the plight of council taxpayers who pay for it all. Especially the many pensioners on low and fixed-incomes who frankly don't have very nice lives and who feel angry, abandoned and completely ripped-off every month when they pay their council tax.
This is therefore a great opportunity to get some human stories into the national press describing what it is really like for people wanting to start or run companies today. So if you run a small business and are fed up with being told by Ministers in the media that “Britain is booming” and entrepreneurs are thriving, then drop Jeff Randall at the Telegraph a message telling him about your situation: firstname.lastname@example.org