After a dramatic election night, it has been confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May will now be forming a minority Conservative government and starting talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Whilst Brexit is clearly the most urgent focus on the agenda, with talks due to begin in a matter of days, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says it is essential the government also focuses on the domestic agenda, including ruling out a “tax grab” on the UK’s millions of self-employed.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry says: “Now that it looks as though a new minority government is emerging, it is important for it to bring certainty and stability to UK business and the economy.
Brexit will only be successful if the government fully backs small businesses, the backbone of the economy, whose ambitions will need to be harnessed to make use of any new trade deals.
“UK negotiators must have their interests in mind, including easy access to the single market and the ability to hire workers with the skills they need.
“Brexit is not the only issue affecting businesses though and the Government can’t ignore the domestic agenda.”
Mr Cherry cited higher National Insurance Contributions, the Business Rates system which he calls “unfair, outdated and in urgent need of reform”, and the need for a cross-party agreement on tackling the poor treatment of many small firms by their big business customers as key items for discussion with Ministers.
And in other news, a poll by the Institute of Directors Business released today reveals that business confidence has plunged since the election, with company bosses blaming uncertainty over the make-up of the government.
The findings suggest a negative swing in confidence of 34 points from the previous month, with 57 per cent of the 700 people polled either quite or very pessimistic about the economy over the next 12 months.