General Election 2019

Published 10th Dec 2019 by Emma Sinfield

Late last week we organised a Straw Poll of our region’s Parliamentary Candidates. Our request was a simple one regarding this week’s election. We asked the Candidates to submit to us a clear statement of their priorities for business in the event of their being elected, as follows: ‘kindly submit to us a clear statement of your priorities for business in our region - should you be elected at the forthcoming election’.

Even at this late stage, members may be interested in seeing below a snapshot of replies which have been received:


“To back small businesses - The Conservatives will always back small business and entrepreneurs in this country. That’s why we exempted the smallest 1.5 million businesses from the recent reform and gave larger businesses more time to prepare for the changes – until April 2020.

“Small businesses are the drivers of this country’s success and the Conservatives are the party determined to support them. During this general election campaign, we have announced that we will review business rates, to reduce the overall burden on businesses, raise the Employment Allowance and increase the Structures and Buildings Allowance from 2 per cent to 3 per cent. These are all practical steps that will benefit firms across the country

“It is also important that the infrastructure is there to support our business, and that is why we will ensure the delivery of a new Manchester to Leeds rail route to unlock growth.

“We are already investing £13 billion to improving transport services across the north, but we are keen to see this go further”.


"Thriving businesses, large and small, are vital for a healthy society. We want to see big business succeed, where most of the jobs are, as well as small business, where innovation and creative thinking take place.

"Businesses have already undergone two recessions, and one of our priorities is to ensure we are not plunged into another as a result of a hard no-deal Brexit.

"The Conservatives are not on the side of smaller businesses, which are the backbone of our communities. We have seen a decline in the number of small businesses under the last 9 years of Tory government, and we want to see that decline reversed.

"We are on the verge of a new Green Industrial Revolution and we want to see our region lead the way with high skill, high wage jobs and apprenticeships. Labour will invest £16 billion in Yorkshire and the Humber from our Green Transformation Fund in industries including Carbon Capture and Storage, hydrogen production and transport, a metals reprocessing factory and Crossrail for the North. It will mean 100,000 new skilled, well-paid jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber that will last long into the future.

"We will take on short-termism and corporate greed, making sure good businesses are rewarded, not undercut. WeI believe we need a comprehensive review of the business rates system, including the introduction of annual revaluations to stop small businesses from facing sharp and unmanageable increases. In government, we will tackle late payments that leave small businesses and the self-employed waiting months to be paid, including banning late payers from public procurement."


“Urban regeneration – we would strive to use drive and imagination to unlock solutions to bring life back to our urban core. We need to look at rate reform to reduce costs, more flexible leases to attract artisan retailers, and planning changes to allow conversion to residential use to bring life and prosperity back to our city centres.

High quality technology jobs – we would seek to build on the partnerships with the area’s universities, and to utilise our experience, to develop a technological regional ecosystem.

“NHS – as well as seeking to improve the availability and quality of NHS care generally, and we would champion the role that UK new businesses can take in improving efficiency of service delivery by the NHS.”

Liberal Democrat

“No surprise, but our primary priority for business is Brexit. This is going to be the thing that makes the biggest differences to the profitability of businesses in Yorkshire over the next few decades, and it's important that we do everything we can to stop it.”

From the JIT supply chains that run through the UK, to the small businesses that deal with mainland Europe tarriff free, there's absolutely nothing more important at this moment.

“Our other priorities include :

- Enable regional devolution. We believe that more regional power gives us the ability to be more able to react to changes in business environment

- Workforce skilling & Research. With an increase in R&D spending and the introduction of the skills wallet, we believe that we can help businesses better compete in quickly changing markets.

- We'll require all government agencies and contractors and companies with more than 250 employees to sign up to the prompt payment code, making it enforceable. We'll also ensure that the company at the top of a supply chain cannot abuse its position to shore up its own cashflow at the expense of smaller suppliers.

- Fiscal responsibility. We're the only party to recognise that this is not the time for massively inflated public spending that will be funded by UK Businesses.

“We are the ‘Party of Business’, and our commitment to SME's is reflected in some of the news coverage you'll have read”.


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