FSB on the top ten most burdensome regulations, the living wage, NICs, and more

FSB welcomes review into role of reservists
Small firms are supportive of the work reservists do but the FSB has concerns about the extended time a staff a member could be away from the firm if called out on an operation. So a review into the role of reservists is welcome. Read the comment and coverage in the Financial Times and watch National Policy Chairman, Mike Cherry talk to Sky News.

Small firms key to boosting the economy
Take a look at Mike Cherry’s interview with Ingenious Britain as appeared in the Sunday Telegraph. He talks about many of the issues that members have raised with us.

Apprenticeships need a clear definition
Following the release of our report on the apprenticeship journey, a Business Department Select Committee agreed with our thoughts that a clear definition was needed for apprenticeships. Read coverage of our report in HR Magazine and on Telegraph and Channel 4.

Living wage increased
Labour continued to support the Living Wage this week as the hourly rate, which is slightly higher than the National Minimum Wage, was increased by 25p per hour. The FSB has said businesses that want to pay the rate will do, but cash-flow is tight and so many businesses would struggle. Read the comments in the Mirror, Daily Mail and ITV News.

Regional National Insurance Contributions holiday flops
The FSB said that the National Insurance Contributions holiday scheme should be extended to existing business across the UK, as figures show that the current scheme had a take-up of only 16,000 businesses. Research by the FSB shows that 45,000 jobs could be created by extending the scheme Read the comment and coverage on MSN online.

Prompt Payment Code
The FSB was mentioned a number of times in a parliamentary debate on late payments initiated by Stephen Metcalfe MP. Debbie Abrahams MP mentioned our figures as well as our support for her campaign to get FTSE 100 companies signed up to the Prompt Payment Code. Toby Perkins MP mentioned our work and figures in this area, and Alex Cunningham MP cited our survey results. Andrea Leadsom MP mentioned the role we may have in helping achieve standard payment terms for small businesses. Wayne David MP also talked about our work, and said we were particularly important in ensuring the voice of SMEs had become "more coherent and more articulate". Watch the debate on the BBC Democracy Live website.

Parliamentary Questions
In Treasury Questions, Cathy Jamieson MP backed our proposal to extend the National Insurance Contributions Holiday scheme. Treasury Minister David Gauke MP mentioned us as among the business organisations who had welcomed the announcement on employee ownership. In Business Questions, Chris White MP urged the Government to collaborate with the FSB to ensure that people were encouraged towards entrepreneurship and Russell Brown MP mentioned our concern over pubcos.

Other Parliamentary mentions
Bill Esterson MP highlighted the impact that poorly maintained roads have on our members during the Second Reading of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. Government Lords Spokesman, Lord Gardiner of Kimble raised our concerns over the living wage. John Glen MP mentioned us while talking of the need to ensure plans to expand the reserve force work for micro businesses.

Top 10 regulations
The European Commission is consulting on the most onerous regulations for small businesses and the FSB wants to feed your views in. Whether it is environment, health and safety or employment law that you find the most difficult, we would like to hear about it. The Commission will then analyse the ‘Top 10’ regulations to see how burdens on micros and SMEs can be reduced. We know it can be tricky to identify whether burdens originate from the UK or EU legislation, but you can tell us the general policy area, or the specific regulation. For more ideas, see here.

Have your voice heard

The FSB survey panel is growing, but we want to hear from more of you to make sure we’re taking the issues that affect you to the heart of Government. Your views are discussed and debated with Ministers and used for FSB media work. Make sure that you have your say and join the survey panel today

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