TORIES WILL DO NOTHING TO GIVE REAL HELP NOW TO NORTH EAST FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES – ALAN CAMPBELL MP

Alan CampbellResponding to the visit of William Hague to Tynemouth today, Labour’s Home Office Minister and MP for Tynemouth, Alan Campbell MP said;
 
"William Hague shows that David Cameron's Conservatives will say anything to distract from the fact that they would do nothing to give real help now to families and small businesses.
 
“Today they say they want to help the economy but only yesterday they pledged to cut £5 billion from investment in key areas such as infrastructure, skills and training at the worst possible time. My constituents like every constituent in the North East will want to know what the Tory cuts will mean in terms of fewer nurses, fewer teachers and fewer police officers.“
 
“If William Hague is serious about helping small businesses, then why is he opposing the new Business Payment Support Service, which allows businesses in difficulty to defer their tax payments? Why is he opposing 'Small Business Guarantee Facility', which allows businesses to borrow any sum, from £1,000 to £1 million, at cheaper rates and for a longer period? And why are they opposing the £3 billion brought forward to invest in infrastructure, skills and training to help us come through the downturn stronger and sooner?
 
“If the Tories really want to help North East families, then why are they opposing the VAT cut worth £275 off the average household bill and the £145 tax cut for basic rate taxpayers? And why are they opposing the £60 for pensioners from January 1st and the bringing forward of increases in child benefit and child tax credit?"
 
“The Tories are prepared to stand by and do nothing as in previous economic downturns – leaving thousands of North East families high and dry.”
 
ends


Notes to editors
 
1. LABOUR'S HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS OPPOSED BY THE TORIES

In the Pre-Budget Report Labour announced a Business Payment Support Service which allows businesses in difficulty to defer their tax payments which includes:
•         VAT
•         Corporation Tax
•         PAYE
•         Income Tax
•         National Insurance

Labour’s Pre-Budget Report also announced support to business including:

•         Deferring the planned increase in the small companies rates of corporation tax.
•         Launching the 'Small Business Guarantee Facility' - new temporary guarantee scheme enabling up to £1 billion of new Government-supported lending by banks. Allowing businesses to borrow any sum, from £1,000 to £1 million, at cheaper rates and for a longer period.
•         A further £1 billion temporary guarantee scheme providing smaller exporters with better access to short-term working capital.
•         Extending loss carry back from 1 to 3 years for up to £50,000 of losses. 90% of businesses should now be able to fully offset their losses.
•         Exempting empty properties with rateable values of up to £15,000 from business rates. It is estimated that 70% of empty properties will pay no business rates in 2009/10.
•         Working with Regional Development Agencies to provide loan schemes to help businesses experiencing difficulty.
•         Launching Business Link, a new easily accessible web portal, to direct credit-worthy SMEs who are experiencing problems accessing credit to the scheme most appropriate for them.

2. LABOUR'S HELP FOR FAMILIES OPPOSED BY THE TORIES

The Conservatives oppose Labour’s fiscal stimulus package and ruled out finding the money to pay for it or any other help to people during the downturn. That means that they oppose the £20bn fiscal stimulus - worth 1% of GDP, including:

•   £145 income tax cut for basic rate taxpayers through raised personal allowances
•  £60 extra payment in the New Year for 12.5m pensioners and 2.5m other vulnerable people
• Bringing forward Child benefit and child tax credit uprating
• £100m increase in the Warm Front programme to help insulate people’s homes and cut heating costs
•  Reduction in VAT from 17.5% to 15% from 1 Dec until the end of next year (this is the equivalent of the Government giving back £12.5bn to consumers)