Politics has taken over in the last few weeks. It’s been such a turbulent time for the country and the issues our industry faces for the future have fallen by the wayside.
Of course security has become the major talking point but once the dust settles, what about the things that will affect you day in day out?
If you are a plumber, gas engineer or an electrician do you know what you are voting for?
If you own a small business do you know what you are voting for?
Corporation Tax / Minimum wage / Zero hour contracts
- One of Labour’s big promises is to make the top 5% pay more tax. Business owners have been worried that they will have to pay more, this is not the case. Only the largest businesses will be affected, in the interest of fairness. In fact, Labour will bring in a lower small profits rate of corporation tax for SMEs.
- Labour has also promised to increase the minimum wage, something that has caused some concern amongst small business owners. Labour say that they will provide support to businesses that fall below a certain threshold, to help them meet the legal minimum wage requirements.
- The Conservatives have not really prioritised small business in their manifesto but one of their pledges is to “back those who want to work hard, by helping business create more and better-paid jobs”.
- Conservatives want to double the immigration skills charge to £2,000 per year, increasing the costs for small businesses that employ non-EU workers.
- The Conservatives are awaiting the publication of the Taylor Report into the Labour market which is reviewing key topics – including the gig economy and the definition of self-employment – before making more changes.
- The Lib Dems say cuts to business rates are a priority along with a full review.
- The Lib Dems want to increase income tax by one penny in the pound and reverse Tory cuts to corporation tax and capital gains.
All 3 parties are looking to increase the number of apprenticeships with Labour looking to double the number of completed apprenticeships at NVQ level 3 by 2022 while also protecting funding to SMEs that hire apprentices.
The Tories would launch new vocational qualifications called T-levels, covering 15 subjects including construction, creative and design, digital engineering and manufacturing, health and science. Their pledge on apprenticeships is to deliver 3 million apprentices by 2020.
This is a big one for many. Much relies on a smooth negotiation or if you are a Lib Dem, a second referendum.
The latter is unlikely so the real question is who do you trust to lead those negotiations?
Negotiations will be led by Theresa May & Boris Johnson. If the Tories get in they will take Britain out of the EU and single market but they want free trade with Europe.
Negotiations will be led by Jeremy Corbyn & Keir Starmer. Labour says it will put jobs and the economy first when it comes to negotiating a new deal. They also accept the result of the referendum.
The choice is yours
The decision of who to vote for has been made even harder post Brexit.
We thought that was tough, now we’re being asked to put our faith in the right team to negotiate our futures.
This is crucial to our industry.
A lot could change in the construction and building services industry, both for the better and for the worse.
The industry risks losing 200,000 EU workers if the UK fails to keep access to the EU single market.
The FMB (Federation of Master Builders) has called for a flexible system of immigration that enables skilled labour from the EU and beyond to support UK construction.
Don’t forget to make your voice heard and vote on June the 8th .