The Labour Party has promised to invest almost £400m over the next three years in the development small businesses through two schemes which will encourage companies to invest through the bond and equity markets.
Among the proposals yesterday announced by prime minister Tony Blair was a proposal which is designed to boost the productivity and innovation of growing small business ventures through additional private and public sector funding.
Over the next three years, the Labour Party proposes to “invest more than £380m in the debt and equity markets alongside the private sector through the Small Firms Loan Guarantee and Enterprise Capital Fund schemes” to get capital through to businesses where they can show true return potential.
Alongside this proposal, the Labour Party also points out its proposals to offer tax incentives for British film production and film festivals.
There are also proposals which, through the Small Business Service, should see a fifth of all UK businesses owned by women by 2006, suggests the business manifesto.
And Labour would like to see all staff trained to at least level 2 of the National Qualifications Authority professional standards, as a national programme of pilot schemes will be launched in 2006 to try and give everyone to relevant training, where they do not already have a level 2 qualification – in the case of the IFA market, this would be the equivalent of introducer or administrator status.
As the Conservative Party launched its business manifesto over a week, ago, the Tories instead launched their Action for London manifesto, which first of all argues Londoners pay far more tax than the rest of the UK yet has some of the biggest problems with crime, deprivation and poverty.
Among the proposals presented, the Conservative Party reiterates its pledge to increase the tamp duty threshold to £250,000 and introduce ‘New York-style’ policing by scrapping the Metropolitan Police Authority and placing policing in the control of the Mayor, along with the introduction of an extra 8,500 police officers on the streets.Moreover, the Conservative Party has pledged to do more to protect the City’s role as an international financial centre.
Specifically manifesto pledges to “strengthen London’s competitiveness, reducing regulation and lowering taxes”, and leave the Bank of England independent of the Treasury.
In contrast, the Liberal Democrats spoke out yesterday on the problems which recently plagued the Department for Work and Pensions’ handling of payment problems and technology development, and the latest report commissioned to review those issues.
In response to the Decision Making Standards Committee's Annual Report: April 2003 - March 2004 Steve Webb, Liberal Democrat shadow work and pensions secretary accused the DWP of refusing to “give any assurance on standards witin the DWP.”
"Millions of pounds of essential financial support is being denied people, especially those with long-term illnesses. And equally, millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is being wasted on avoidable overpayments,” said Webb.
"Ministers and senior managers are failing the people they are meant to serve. Trying to hide this fact by not providing basic information and data is not acceptable."IFAonline
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