Business

Who to Vote for in the 2019 General Election – A Must-Read Guide

by laurahusband / last updated December 6, 2019

It’s less than a week to go until the 2019 General Election so HJ has spoken to the National Hair and Beauty Federation and business consultant Ryan Fox to outline what the main political parties’ manifestos will mean for you and your salon business.

Hilary Hall, NHBF chief executive said, “As well as what’s published in the manifestos, the parties have also made a number of policy announcements in their election campaigning.  There is a clear emphasis from all main parties on raising minimum wages, increasing the rights of employees, workers and the self-employed, especially those working in the gig economy, but there are differences on policies on corporation tax and on Brexit.”

Voting in the 2019 General Election on Wages and Employment Rights:

Labour: 

  • Increase National Living Wage to £10 per hour from age 16 in 2020.
  • Reduce the working week to 32 hours without loss of pay.
  • Extend maternity pay from 9 months to 12 months.
  • Give all workers the right to flexible working.
  • Double paternity leave to 4 weeks and increase statutory paternity pay.

Conservatives: 

  • Increase NLW to £10.50 per hour within 5 years.
  • Reduce NLW age threshold from 25 to 23 from 2021 and to 21 by 2024.
  • Encourage flexible working.
  • Make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave.
  • Single enforcement body to crack down on abuse of employment law.
  • Set up an anti-tax evasion unit within HMRC.

Liberal Democrats: 

  • Independent review on how to set a Living Wage across all sectors.
  • Flexible working option for everyone from day one.
  • Higher minimum wages for people on zero-hour contracts.

Business consultant Ryan Fox on voting based on wages policies: 

“Do a review of wage v’s the actual income generated for each team member and work out everyone’s individual wage percentage. Then work out what that would look like if their wage went up to different levels to see how much room you have to increase. If it’s not enough, they need to generate more income. You could also consider increasing prices to assist but with caution.”

Voting in the 2019 General Election on Self-Employment Rights:

Labour:

  • End ‘bogus self-employment’ with the burden of proof shifting to employers.
  • Create a single ‘worker’ status for everyone who is not genuinely self-employed or an employee.
  • Scrap zero-hours contracts.

Conservatives: 

  • Commitment to the Good Work Plan and more protection for people working in the gig economy (in Queen’s Speech but not in manifesto)
  • Review how to better support the self-employed.

Liberal Democrats: 

  • New employment status ‘dependent contractor’ if not an employee or genuinely self-employed.
  • Review tax, National Insurance and pensions for ‘dependent contractors’.

Business consultant Ryan Fox on voting based on self-employment policies: 

“Having stylists in the salon on a self employed basis is increasingly becoming more difficult yet more and more seem to want to work that way. It’s a difficult one but clearer rules around employment status enforced by a future government might mean you have to choose one way or the other. Think about what type of salon you want to be and the business model that you will need going forward.”

Voting in the 2019 General Election on Small Business Policies:

Labour: 

  • Raise the main rate of corporation tax to 26% over 3 years, with a small profits rate of 21% for businesses with turnover of less than £300k.
  • No quarterly reporting for business below the VAT threshold.
  • No increases in VAT.

Conservatives: 

  • £31 million package of support to help small businesses grow.
  • Keep corporation tax at 19%.
  • Maintain current VAT thresholds (£85,000).
  • Raise National Insurance Contribution threshold to £9500.
  • Increase Employment Allowance from £3000 to £4000 for small businesses.

Liberal Democrats: 

  • Start-up allowance for new businesses.
  • Simplify business taxation.
  • Review IR35 rules.

Voting in the 2019 General Election on Business Rates and High Street Policies:

Labour: 

  • Review a land value tax on commercial landlords instead of business rates.
  • Stop bank branch closures and banning ATM charges.
  • Develop retail sector industrial strategy.
  • Keep restrictions on Sunday trading.

Conservatives: 

  • Reduce business rates for retail businesses to protect the high street and carry out a fundamental review of the business rates system.
  • Allocate a £3.6bn Towns Fund to 100 towns to improve their local economy.

Liberal Democrats: 

  • Review business rates and replace with a commercial landowner’s levy.
  • Expand the Future High Streets Fund.

Business consultant Ryan Fox on voting based on small business and business rates policies: 

“You don’t really have much control over this unfortunately but make sure you have checked that you are getting any relief that you are due. Having multiple sites might mean you don’t qualify for business rates relief so consider if you would be better off as a single site or separate companies. You could use a specialist company to make a challenge but be aware, a bit like a PPI company, they will take a large slice of the savings they make. You could also consider moving to a different site with lower rent and rates.”

Voting in the 2019 General Election on Apprenticeship and T-Level Policies:

Labour: 

  • Investment for colleges to deliver T levels and pre-apprenticeship trainee programmes.
  • Apprenticeship levy to be used for wider range of training and up to 50% to be transferred to non-levy paying employers.
  • Free lifelong entitlement to training at level 3.

Conservatives: 

  • Invest £600m per year in National Skills Fund, including apprenticeships.
  • Establish a ‘right to retrain’ for adults
  • Improve the working of the apprenticeship levy.

Liberal Democrats: 

  • Expand high quality apprenticeships, backed by sector-led National Colleges.
  • £10,000 for adults to spend on lifelong education and training.
  • Expand the apprenticeship levy with 25% of funds going to social mobility fund.

Business consultant Ryan Fox on voting based on apprenticeship and t-level policies: 

“Apprentices are the future of the industry so make sure you are in that space and training up at least one apprentice at a time. It has been a confusing area with all the recent changes, but take the time to understand how you can make it work for your business and don’t give up with the next generation.”

Voting in the 2019 General Election on Brexit Policies:

Labour: 

  • Secure a new deal with the EU within 6 months.
  • The Party will only decide whether to campaign for its new Brexit deal or Remain in a Referendum after its election to Government.

Conservatives: 

  • Deliver Brexit with the deal agreed with the EU.

Liberal Democrats: 

  • If a Lib Dem majority Government is elected, they would stop Brexit, revoke Article 50 and stay in the EU.
  • Otherwise, they will continue to fight for a 2nd referendum with the option to stay in the EU, and campaign to keep the UK in the EU.

Business consultant Ryan Fox on voting based on Brexit policies: 

“We are still not sure what will happen with Brexit and whether we will even leave at all. Remember that if we do leave, this is only the withdrawal agreement so we are just at the start of the process. We will need to negotiate our trade deals with the EU and around the world which could take years. Therefore, if you are waiting for something to happen, you could be waiting a long time. Though Brexit may affect salons in some ways, the basics of the business remain so as much as it’s a cliché it probably is good advice to “keep calm and carry on”.

Ryan Fox is a Hair & Beauty Salon Consultant who also offers an Accountancy Service specifically designed for salons. www.umbrellaconsulting.co.uk.

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