top of page

Business 2024


Whether it is tourism or retail or farming or financial or other services, business has found itself too often bound in the red tape of regulations often imposed from Brussels and then "gold-plated" at the whim of United Kingdom Civil Servants who seek to "improve" matters to satisfy their own theories. This makes our home-grown businesses uncompetitive in the European and Global marketplace and costs contracts and jobs. We have, through the Cabinet Office, done much to reduce the burden but there is still more to be done.

In East Kent we enjoy what ought to be an unrivalled business location. We have proximity to the huge and widening European market through our cross channel ferry and channel tunnel links and we ought to have access to the worldwide markets through our airport. The High Speed One link from Ashford through to  Thanet Parkway station and on to Ramsgate  will in time both improve the business climate and the prospects for the re-opening of a successful Manston freight and passenger Airport. 

I know from my regular contacts with the Federation of Small Business and the Chamber of Commerce as well as with high-street retailers that small businesses and large businesses have great and justified faith in their own capabilities and business skills and regard these as the most important factors in their success.  The only useful role that politicians can or should play is to create a light-touch framework within which skills and talents can be used to best advantage.  As I have said very publicly, anything else tends to involve government trying to mend something that is not broken and making a good situation bad or worse. 

It is not government’s job to run businesses but it is government’s job to help to create a climate in which businesses, with the employment, services and tax revenue that they can generate, can thrive. 

Business wants to make profit, to re-invest in modern processes, to distribute to shareholders, to hedge against `rainy days`, to plough into pension funds, and quite properly to hand on to children, to grandchildren or to its future owners in perpetuity.   

Business does not want to be treated as an unpaid tax collector, as a tool of the Child Support Agency or the Inland Revenue Tax Credit Schemes or to be so hedged around with pettifogging regulations that it cannot get on with its job. 

bottom of page