Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

Today, the Government has launched it’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper to address long term challenges to the UK economy.

Richard’s view can be found here:
Richard Fuller on Industrial Strategy

1 Response to Richard Fuller MP on Industrial Strategy

  • An interesting and thoughtful paper, I thought. Thank you.

    I agree with pretty well all of it, especially with the concluding comment about keeping away from specifics as far as possible.

    My main areas of interest are small firms and management education. Thus I was pleased by: “modernise the system of taxes on business, reducing or eliminating taxes on small businesses…”. I should like to expand on that in a moment.

    As for management education, I see the main reason for the shortfall in UK productivity as lying at the door of managements. It would follow that training managements better should help. Should that not form part of the strategy?

    Back to small firms. My plumber is an estimable sort, technically excellent, committed to developing his staff and administratively competent and – at one time – keen to grow his firm. He did grow it to the point where he had a number of vans on the road (I don’t recall how many) but found the burden of admin and legal liabilities too great to bear. He is now back down to two vans, himself and a journeyman. I have heard countless tales from SMEs of stunted growth for the same reasons.

    The lesson I draw from this is that the well-meaning imposition of various duties and liabilities upon SMEs has destroyed the jobs my plumber created. One controversial solution would be to eliminate SMEs of up to, say, 100 staff, from all employment and anti-discrimination law. Once the baying from HM Loyal Opposition had died down, the result ought to be the rapid growth to 99 employees of a large number of micro-firms. It’s a policy Sir Humphrey would label ‘courageous’, but it might work.

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