2 February 2009

I was reading an article written a little while ago by Chris Grayling – the shadow work and pension secretary. There were some good ideas outlined, and if the political spin and point scoring is put aside, then the general thrust of potential future Conservative party policy on job creation is worth at least one and a half cheers! It was a relief to see it acknowledged that the growth in the economy is going to come from innovative small businesses and that they are the only real source of sustainable jobs growth. Too often we see undue emphasis placed on short term protectionism or assistance for uneconomic large players or the celebration of yet more public sector posts.

We need to rediscover the enterprise and entrepreneurial zeal which has made Britain “Great”. Rather than spend fortunes propping up the past let’s concentrate on the future. What I want to see from any government are policies which make setting up and running a business easy. REAL reduction in bureacracy, lower but fair taxation policies, incentives for job creation etc.

Chris Grayling referred to places such as Canada where new business creation from welfare to work programmes have been particularly successful. We have a version of this option now through the New Deal but it is very much the “forgotten option”. The proposals to get 20,000 new businesses a year created are very much welcomed but some of the detail is suspect. It is the thought that he is expecting businesses such as ours to fund the programmes and then reclaim costs through benefits saved that worry me. Taking into account the average time taken to start a business and then the time for the benefit savings to be realised mean that it could be 12 months before we would be paid – not a model that we would recommend to our clients! How many people are going to put the time and effort into helping those who need it most when the financial pay back is so uncertain?

I have confidence in what assistance we provide to such clients and indeed we set up about 2.5% of Chris Graylings annual target and have done consistently for 27 years. So Mr Grayling if you want to get three cheers and help refine your policy into a workable process why dont you get in contact with me? As we are politically neutral I open this opportunity to any of the main political parties. Come and see what the experts “on the ground” actually do and it will probably surprise and enthuse you.

The answers are out there – you only need to ask the right questions.

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