The Queen’s Speech announced that the government would prioritise “helping working people” today.
The first all-Conservative Speech since 1996 saw a new Enterprise Bill announced, which promises to save smaller firms £10bn in red tape. The government has said that as part of the bill it will establish a Small Business Conciliation Service to tackle late payments from larger businesses totalling over £32bn.
The Queen said in the speech that the government will be “helping working people get on” and “supporting aspiration”.
Announcing the bill in Bristol, business secretary Sajid Javid said: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them.”
Small businesses are Britain’s engine room
Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said that her party would be supporting the measures for small businesses but that sharply criticised measures to change unionism.
“The queen’s speech talks of working people, yet he [the Prime Minister] threatens basic rights at work,” she said.
Reacting to the announcement, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) said that it was “pleased the Government is maintaining focus on small businesses” and legislating against bureaucracy and late payments.
The news follows the government’s decision to appoint Anna Soubry as Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise.
Anna Soubry: Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise
One of the new government’s first actions was to create a Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise. Anna Soubry was appointed to the role four days after the election. Her responsibilities include business sectors and advanced manufacturing, competitiveness and economic growth, export licensing, among other duties. She will also be overseeing the proposed extension to the British Business Bank.
“It’s important Government gets behind small businesses – enabling them to get finance, get paid on time and get rid of red tape,” she said after taking up the role.
Having been a journalist and lawyer before going to politics, Soubry was elected as MP for Broxtowe of Nottinghamshire in 2010 and re-elected in May 2015. Throughout her years serving as Broxtowe MP, she has voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax.