News Column

As entrepreneurs call for tax cuts to support startups, have politicians been complacent?

September 4, 2014



YES David Lammy There is a real lack of ambition in support for the tech sector from government. Some efforts are being made to improve London's hi-tech infrastructure, for example, but it's concerning that the capital still comes twenty-sixth in the UK table of high-speed broadband connectivity, and falls behind the likes of Southampton and Kingston-upon-Hull when it comes to 3G signal. The government needs to up its game in rolling out new digital infrastructure. We should also not be satisfied with a "Tech City" that is really just one roundabout near Farringdon. In terms of lending, funding streams from the British Business Bank to Project Merlin show the coalition is letting down startups in access to finance. And as called for in the Startup Manifesto, we need proper investment in genuine apprenticeships that give young people a taste of an entrepreneurial environment. The government could be doing more. There is no room for complacency.


David Lammy is Labour MP for Tottenham.


NO Matthew Hancock The creative zeal and raw passion of our entrepreneurs has underpinned our economic recovery. Every day they push the boundaries of innovation to create a brighter, better world for us all. We have backed entrepreneurship like no government before, with more than 400,000 startups founded since 2010 and over 130,000 in London alone. This is just the beginning. Our ambition is to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. I'm leading the first Small Business Bill through Parliament this autumn, specifically legislating for entrepreneurs and making sure the UK is a fair and trusted place to do business. We're growing the British Business Bank to help entrepreneurs access the finance they need to get going and it's full steam ahead for our landmark Start Up Loans scheme too. We'll never stop backing entrepreneurs, and we know there's so much more to do for them.


Matthew Hancock is minister of state for business and enterprise and minister of state for energy.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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