Tories unveil plans to help small firms

DAVID Cameron yesterday announced a raft of measures to help small businesses, as he attempted to portray the Tories as a party of entrepreneurship.

He said a Tory government would end the “anti-aspiration” culture that had been fostered under Labour, by increasing the insolvency threshold and reducing the number of days it takes to get a new business off the ground.

Currently, the government can pursue and make bankrupt companies which have unpaid taxes of over £750, but the Tories said they would increase the threshold to £5,000 immediately if they win the general election.

“The insolvency threshold is currently £750. We would lift that to £5,000 because, when you look at the figures, more small businesses have gone bankrupt in this recession than in previous recessions and a number have been pushed there by the government itself,” Cameron told BBC1’s Andrew Marr show.

Conservative party sources said the measure would be cost neutral, because the government would save on welfare payments by protecting jobs that would otherwise be lost.

And the Tory leader said he would make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a new venture by cutting red tape and allowing them to register online.

“It takes 13 to 14 days to start a new business in this country, in America it’s half as long. We have the ambition of making us one of the fastest countries in the world to start up a new business,” Cameron said.

Cameron also said he would scrap rules preventing people living in social housing from starting a firm from home.

“The message that seems to be coming out of Labour at the moment is don’t start a business, don’t buy your home, don’t try and leave money to your children, don’t try and get on.”