THE BLOG

Why As A Business Owner, I'm Voting Labour In The General Election

07/06/2017 17:03

I own a communications company with 20 plus employees, dealing with a load of C-suite clients in a tough, competitive market. I will also be voting Labour in the General Election.

Some people might think that would be anathema for a business owner in a difficult economic climate, made all the trickier with Brexit approaching, as Labour have often been painted as the anti-business party.

But Labour are the clear and only choice for me. Let me explain why.

For one thing, I am a person of strong beliefs - I was born in a working class family. I've grafted all my life and brought up my amazing daughter single-handedly. I try to put other people's interests and happiness before my own, not always successfully I must admit but it's always been about the bigger picture for me when it comes to life.

And that includes politics too - for the many, not the few resonates with me. Plus, when you get down to the nitty gritty, Labour have detailed far more policies that will help other people like me running small businesses, and more importantly, the people who work for them.

SMEs are a vital part of a vibrant community - it's certainly the case where I work in Dalston. When SMEs prosper, so does the economy and society as a whole - they employ over 15 million people in the UK, or two-thirds of all jobs in the private sector.

SMEs are also behind the recent recovery in the UK's employment market. Between 2008 and 2011, 88% of individuals moving from unemployment into employment found work in either an SME or self-employment, where they often end up launching their own SMEs themselves.

SMEs are also more likely to employ people who face more disadvantage in the labour market, such as the disabled, and younger and older workers.

Plus, we'd have carbon copy high streets without them and we'd lose those family businesses that have been going for generations. We'd lose something quintessentially British without them.

For example, Labour will ban zero hours contracts and unpaid internships, increase the minimum wage to a living wage of £10phr by 2022 for over 18s, and will give all staff full employee rights from day one, even if they're only temporary.

Better paid workers will have more to spend in the economy and employers treating employees better is good for everyone and society as a whole. It's essential to have a fairer distribution of wealth in Great Britain, and not leave it all in the hands of the massive banks and corporations. This is at the heart of Labour's policies.

Labour will also double paid paternity leave to four weeks, and most importantly, it will strengthen protection for women at work who have children. I still hear of far too many women got rid of while they're on maternity leave. It's got to stop.

As someone who finds it difficult not to work all hours of every day, I also love the idea of being made to down tools with the four new public holidays they're proposing. Having down time is so important and can help your business as it gives you time and space to think creatively about any problems that need solving or coming up with new ways to push your business forward. Being nose to the grindstone the whole time sometimes means you only end up dealing with the nitty gritty and not seeing a bigger picture.

While the LibDems have proposed tackling some of these issues, Labour's plans are more detailed. And the Conservatives are light on proposed changes until after publication of the Taylor report into the labour market. Labour simply have more clarity on these issues.

Labour are also promising to look into current business rates, which are crippling many small firms like mine, and it's also helpful that they are not going to increase National Insurance or VAT. It will also bring in a lower small profits rate of corporate tax for SMEs. This is all incredibly helpful to the likes of my business.

It's also great that they want to reassert the power of trade unions - happy employees who feel their rights are protected are better workers after all.

Like Labour, I want a prosperous, growing economy where there are opportunities for all. That's why as a business owner, they get my vote.

Comments

CONVERSATIONS