Thursday, April 18, 2024

Labour calls for tax break for small businesses in Thurrock

LABOUR’S parliamentary candidate for Thurrock is calling on the Chancellor George Osborne to give small firms in Thurrock a New Year tax break to help them take on new workers. By extending the national insurance holiday, which does not currently extend to the East, South East or London, to all businesses in every region of the country, the Government could help firms create desperately needed jobs.

New figures slipped out by the Treasury reveal that in its first year of operation the flagship scheme has supported just 2.5 per cent of the businesses promised help by the Chancellor in his first Budget, despite a budget of almost £1 billion. It is also set to cost more in administration and red tape than it has so far given in support for new businesses.

Labour are calling on the government to use the hundreds of millions of pounds of unspent money allocated to the scheme and extend the tax break to all existing small firms, with fewer than 10 employees, who take on extra workers. The national insurance tax break would apply for a year for each additional employee taken on and could help up to 2,790 small businesses in Thurrock.

In his first Budget George Osborne said his policy would benefit 400,000 businesses but the Treasury’s own figures show that just over 10,000 firms received support from the scheme between September 2010 and November 2011, none in Essex.

Just £6 million was paid out to small firms to support 12,400 jobs in the period for which figures are available, but the Treasury estimates that the administration costs of the scheme will be double that at around £12 million.

Labour’s Polly Billington said:

“Small businesses are at the heart of the economy and the community in Thurrock, the Government should be doing everything they can to help them as they face difficult times.

“That’s why Labour are calling on the government to use the hundreds of millions of pounds of unspent money allocated to national insurance holiday to extend the tax break to all small firms, as part of our five point plan for jobs and growth. This could help up to 2,790 companies here in Thurrock.

“By extending the scheme to include Thurrock, the Tory-led Government could help support up to 210, 000 small businesses across the region, helping them to grow and take on workers.”

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Small firms are the lifeblood of our economy, but they have been badly let down by this Conservative-led government. Spending cuts and tax rises that go too far and too fast have crushed confidence and choked off the recovery well before the eurozone crisis.

“The one flagship policy that could have made a difference has been a total flop, supporting just one in forty businesses who were promised help. And shockingly, the government is set to spend twice as much on admin costs than it has so far paid out in support to businesses.

“Out of touch Ministers need to wake up to the jobs and growth crisis facing our country in 2012 and start doing something about it. They also need to realise that more people out of work on benefits just makes it harder to get the deficit down, which is why the government is now set to borrow a staggering £158 billion more than they planned.”


  1. Ms Billington is sadly deluded if she things a year long break from national insurance is going to entice people to take on new people. In case she hasn’t noticed, companies are already pretty much pared to the bone as far as expenses are concerned and taking on new staff is impossible. I work for one of the companies that would qualify if the scheme was extended and we have spent the past year cutting back expenditure. A new staff member, even a poorly paid one with a national insurance holiday, isn’t even on the radar. So yes, the policy of the Government is a bit of a flop, but only because there are precious few small companies out there able to take them up on the offer.

  2. I may be suffering from the selective amnesia that sister Billington appears to be but I’m fairly certain that Gordon & Co increased corporation tax on small businesses and national insurance contributions for all businesses. Poor old Polly should go back to the nursing home and keep up the medication.

  3. A nice idea, but lets’ get this straight – we should spend unspent money in a time when we have £120 million every day on debt interest alone?! Labour don’t learn do they!

  4. “Out of touch Ministers need to wake up to the jobs and growth crisis facing our country in 2012”

    If only Mr Brown and Mr Balls did this in 2008 things may have turned out differently.

  5. A fortnight ago this woman openly opposed the governments cuts in public expenditure and blamed those cuts for every ill this country is currently beset by. So what’s her opinion today and which side does she back now. This woman would say Panada’s are pink and green if that’s what the current position of the Labour party was and who’s to say it isn’t. It’s about as plausible as their denial of the economic mess they left this country in.

  6. This is just typical of a Labour Party in crisis, they are all talk and no substance, they will spin anything to try and make themselves look credible; unfortunately they have a very weak leader in Milliabnd and will continue to suffer defeats in the polls.

    Ms Billington needs to take a look abck over the past few years and see what a mess her party left this country in, but like most Labour politicians they have denied any wrong doings, until they can see whet they have done and can come forward with a credible way forward out of the mess then they may become a fighting force in british politics

  7. I’m sure the candidate is a good person and I liked the comment about not knowing the pavement cracks, but wanting to know the people that do – but unfortunately this is contrasted by precisely how dreadful the previous Labour government where – anyone remember child tax benefit to those earning over 50K?!! Might have been lovely for the yummy mummies in Hampstead, but for those in this part of the world it’s a waste, which leads us to the current economic situation. First Labour goes tribal, then in denial about it’s failures, and now is supporting elements of the Coalition’s programme, while asking the government to do more when it has no money…’s proving an interesting journey to the casual observer!


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