General Election 2017: What does the upcoming mean for British businesses?

General Election 2017: Who’s promising what…

By the time you read this blog post you may already have some idea how you’ll choose to vote come June 8th. On the other hand, you may still be as confused as ever. While we’d never tell you how to vote, we can offer a little information regarding the policies and pledges that have been put forward to date; namely those that could, and will, affect British businesses in the days, weeks, and months following the announcement of the results. The last few months have been incredibly confusing for businesses of every kind and size, so here’s hoping we’ll soon have some clarity.

UK General Election

So, who’s promising what?

The Conservatives

Theresa May’s party is keen to maintain power, and has released a manifesto in order to appeal to the voting majority. While promises to cut immigration, raise the tax-free personal allowance, increase NHS funding, and means-test winter fuel payments are causing controversy and conversation, it’s those pertaining to British businesses that we’re most interested in. The Conservatives have pledged:

  • The installation of a general statement of intent to lower tax and simplify the system
  • No increase in the level of VAT
  • The introduction of legislation to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders
  • That listed companies will have to publish details of executive pay to the UK workforce
  • That large companies of 250 people or more will be required to publish data pertaining to the gender pay gap
  • To increase workers’ rights
  • To raise the national living wage up to 60% of median earnings by 2020
  • To leave the single market and seek a new customs agreement with the customs union

Labour

Jeremy Corbyn may have come under fire in recent months for his inabilities to lead his party, but the Labour leader has some serious views when it comes to the treatment of British workers and businesses. He has pledged to:

  • Nationalise key industries, including the railway and health service
  • Reduce the threshold for the 45p rate of income tax to £80,000
  • Introduce a new 50p tax to those earning in excess of £123,000
  • Give HMRC greater powers to chase those who avoid tax
  • Build a close relationship with the EU as partners, rather than members
  • Retain the benefits of the single market and custom union
  • Create a Ministry of Labour to enforce workers’ rights
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act
  • To outlaw zero hours contracts
  • To ban unpaid internships
  • To prevent employers from sourcing their staff solely from overseas
  • Increasing the national minimum wage to at least £10 per hour by 2020
  • Provide all workers with access to a trade union
  • To double paternity leave to four weeks and increase payments to new fathers
  • To protect women during their maternity leave
  • Reduce pay inequality
  • End the 1% pay cap to NHS staffers
  • Four new bank holidays to reflect the UK’s patron saints days

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats may be a third wheel in a two pony race, but their manifesto makes for interesting reading if you happen to own a business, are planning to start a family, or disagreed with the results of the Brexit referendum. Tim Farron’s party has pledged to:

  • End the public sector pay squeeze
  • Hold a second Brexit referendum
  • Offer a full month’s paid leave to new dads on paternity leave
  • Remain a member of the single market
  • Raise corporation tax by 20%
  • Tackle recruitment issues within the armed forces
  • Protect workers’ pensions
  • Introduce compulsory reporting on the ethnicity pay gap
  • Add 1p to income tax to raise £6billion for the NHS
  • Abolish the public sector pay cap
  • Protect the triple lock on state pensions

Overview

As you can see, each party’s policies are starkly different. We have a choice on our hands, indeed. If you’re still unsure please check out the BBC’s live coverage of the election campaign trail. You’ll find everything you need to know here. While no one can be sure how the results of the general election will directly affect British businesses, we are confident that the arrival of a new, or stronger majority government, will at least offer us all a clearer idea of policy and practice. We may also receive a better idea of the kind of Brexit we face too; hard, soft, or red, white, or blue, Brexit is on its way – whether we like it or not. However, the results of the general election should at least make it easier to understand how we will all move forward following the triggering of Article 50.

Whichever way you vote in this June’s general election make sure you’re doing so for all of the right reasons. How will you chosen party’s pledge benefit your business? What kind of trade deals could you expect to be making? One thing we can be sure of is the role of VoIP. Indeed, VoIP will continue to play an integral part in British business communication, with us offering information and support every step of the way. Please drop us a line 0333 002 0000, or contact us for more information.

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