Is the government really listening to the business community?

As we approach the start of a General Election year, have the government done enough to engage with, and take advice from, the business community?


As we approach the start of a General Election year, have the government done enough to engage with, and take advice from, the business community?

The coalition government has unashamedly called itself a pro-business administration – here to champion the efforts of entrepreneurs and their companies.

In March, chancellor George Osborne promised a Budget for business, and did actually deliver a number of promising policy changes. Have a look back here for a re-cap of what was introduced.

But a couple of emails in the last week have got me thinking about how much attention David Cameron and his party pay to business leaders and industry organisations.

I have lost count the amount of times I have come across a set of recommendations from the likes of the Federation of Small Businesses or Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or British Chambers of Commerce.

They are usually published in the run up to a Budget address or Autumn Statement and, quite succinctly, outline what each body thinks should be done to foster a more pro-business environment.

This week’s offering is from E2Exchange, a network of British entrepreneurs, and puts forward some great points. Improving the already popular Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and relaxing of national insurance contributions are included, and it makes for interesting and thought-provoking reading.

It does, however, make me wonder if the government takes these kinds of submissions on board and acts on suggestions which have come from the coal face.

Organisations like the FSB, CIPD and E2Exchange are populated by individuals who are involved in the business world everyday, and know full well what needs to be done to oil the wheels of progress.

Perhaps we should have an allocated day when the government sits up and takes notice of what is being said and proposed. In what is a coalition rather shorn of any real experience in the business world, the powers that be could learn a lot from the tailored advice that is directed their way.

I’d be interested to hear what you think, and if any of your recommendations have made it to Downing Street.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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