I can’t vote in this country, but I can pay tax, so I feel that that gives me some right to share with you my feelings and those of more than a hundred leading entrepreneurs in the UK as the election approaches.
For entrepreneurs, a Liberal Democrat-Labour coalition would be disastrous for British business.
The ever-increasing tax burden and red tape is destroying the very innovation the UK needs to succeed in what is a hugely competitive global economy. Under Labour, the UK is becoming hostile territory for entrepreneurial businesses. Labour has created ever more reasons for businesses to leave the UK, or for entrepreneurs to set up their new businesses abroad. The sad reality is that entrepreneurs no longer feel welcome in a country run by Brown.
Liberal Democrat policy is even worse. Nick Clegg’s proposed increases in capital gains tax would strangle inward investment into the UK by making the UK the least attractive place to build or expand any new business. Jobs that would otherwise come to Britain will simply head elsewhere. Such a policy is short sighted in the extreme, and would lead to reduced growth and higher unemployment.
David Cameron runs the only party that aims to nurture and encourage business, rather than hinder or disrupt it. With him as the next Prime Minister, we are confident the UK can once more become a natural choice of location for talented business people, and for exciting new businesses.
The Conservatives are publicly against Labour’s jobs tax, plan to reduce employer’s national insurance on a new company’s first ten employees, and intend to reduce the burden of bureaucracy whilst simplifying corporate taxes and regulations. These are the kind of policies that will encourage innovation and ensure entrepreneurial business can thrive, grow and compete globally from the UK.
Entrepreneurship is the oxygen of a thriving and efficient economy and attracts investment, builds jobs, increases tax receipts and brings prosperity for us all. I and a 110 UK entrepreneurs have reluctantly concluded that a Brown/Clegg partnership would be totally disastrous for British business, for British competitiveness and for British jobs. I therefore urge the public to vote to ensure neither Brown nor Clegg get to impose their anti-business policies on the UK for the next five years.
Julie Meyer is founder and chief executive of Ariadne Capital, runs Entrepreneur Country and appears on the BBC’s Online Dragon’s Den.