So, here we are at perhaps the most significant election for the UK for many years and one that will define the next decade and beyond. There is little doubt that Theresa May’s Tories will be the largest party, but unless this is with a significantly larger majority, then she will have deemed to have failed the calculated risk of going to the polls, and may have to step down as leader. On the other hand, the much better Labour campaign is likely to win them more seats, and will perhaps shore up Jeremy’s Corbyn’s position as leader but this will only happen if young people come out and vote in numbers, which is not terribly likely. It is surprising to me that the only party not wanting Brexit, the Lib Dems, have done so poorly in the election with still only 9% in the opinion polls.
It’s a straight two-horse race in England and Wales between the Tories and Labour, and away from who will be the better Brexit negotiators, the battle has boiled down to the core issue of whether to raise significant more tax revenue by raising corporation tax. The Tory view is that low taxation leads to more entrepreneurism and economic growth, which in turn will raise more tax revenue, whereas Labour take the view that there are easy pickings here for tax that can fund the gaps in education, health and social care. As a business owner myself, I have no problem paying more tax if the vulnerable in our society are looked after better. Let’s face it, tax is only proportional to profits, so in those tough years when I have had to invest in the business in order to grow it, there isn’t much corporation tax anyway. Most in the UK would agree with taxing the large corporations making money for asset-rich share-holders, many of whom already have more money than they know what to do with anyway.
However, if you are worried about higher corporation tax stifling innovation and entrepreneurism, how about a sliding scale of corporation tax, similar to income tax. Micro and small businesses would pay little leaving them more money to invest in the future, whereas the medium and large businesses would pay more. This is similar to income tax, those earning more pay a higher rate. If this has been suggested by any party in this or previous election campaigns I am unaware of it, but it seems to be a good way of achieving both aims.
Anyone out there with me fancy starting a new ethical pro-business party, let me know!! I will be tweeting as the results come out on Thursday night. Follow me here @paul_hargreaves