With the 2017 general election looming, we’ve combed through the manifestos of the three major parties and summarised the positions and policies that could impact your business.
In their manifesto, the Conservatives say that they are “the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur” and that they “understand that small businesses are the wellspring of growth.”
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The Conservative Party has promised more support for regional arts if it wins the general election.
In its manifesto, released on May 18, the party describes British arts and culture as “world-beating” and at the heart of the regeneration of modern Britain.
The manifesto says: “We will continue our strong support for the arts, and ensure more of that support is based outside London.”
However, the manifesto does not mention any specific funding figures for the arts, in contrast to the Labour Party which promised a £1 billion culture fund.
It pledges to move significant numbers of public servants out of London and the South East to other UK cities, including arms-length bodies, of which Arts Council England is one.
“For our civil service and major cultural bodies to claim to be UK institutions, they need to represent and be present across our whole United Kingdom,” the manifesto adds.
“It is also wrong that while some of our major cultural institutions have made efforts to gain a presence across the UK, others have not. We will put this right.”
The Conservatives go on to promise a cultural development fund for communities, and reaffirms a commitment to the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, which will celebrate arts and engineering in the region.
Additionally, the party pledges to “promote British culture around the world”.
Elsewhere in its manifesto, the Conservatives promise to increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion. This follows concerns from within the cultural sector that arts subjects and teachers are being sidelined owing to budget cuts.
The manifesto also pledged to improve the country’s technical education and create new technical institutions.
Elsewhere, the manifesto also promises more rights and protections for self-employed people working in the ‘gig’ economy, and pledges to simplify the tax system.
Earlier this year the government dropped plans to increase national insurance levels for the self-employed following an intense backlash.
Read More @ The Stage
Digital and culture minister Matt Hancock hinted today that a Conservative government would not reduce arts funding.
Speaking to members of the Creative Industries Federation, the minister said: “We have delivered that in government and we have protected arts funding in the spending review.”
In a dig at the Labour party’s manifesto, the costings of which were described as “pure Diane Abbott” by Conservatives, Hancock said that “we also actually know how we are going to pay for it”.
Read more: The numbers behind Jeremy Corbyn's plans to raise £48.6bn in taxes
While the minister would not commit to any election promises ahead of the release of the Conservative Party manifesto release tomorrow, he outlined three priorities for the future relationship between the government and the creative industries: a good Brexit deal, nurturing home-grown talent, and defending intellectual property.
Of Brexit, he said: “We want to continue to see Britain be a beacon of talent around the world.
He also said that the solution to local councils cutting arts funding was not a centralised system, arguing that a national alternative would did not want to disincentivise local authorities from allocating parts of their own budgets.
Read more: Creative SMEs should get special support, says campaigning body
However, he also indicated reaching more places outside of London is also a priority.
He said “We are actively reaching out to communities who haven’t been involved before.”
“The absolutely brilliant impact on Hull as the city of culture builds on the examples of Liverpool and Manchester before it. I think it’s important to support the development of cultural institutions in places that need a boost.”
Read More @ City AM
Small businesses are three times more likely to vote Conservative over Labour in the upcoming General Election, according to one of the largest small business surveys* carried out by Funding Circle, the leading direct lending platform for small business finance.
Despite 49% saying they voted Remain** in last year’s EU referendum, the majority now have confidence in the Conservative Party to deliver Brexit.
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