The Small Parties’ Election Manifestos 2024 And SMEs

Disclaimer: We may earn a small commission if you click on links on this page. This helps us keep producing free content.
26 June 2024 – As the UK uses the first-past-the-post voting system, smaller parties realistically don’t have the chance to lead the government. But that doesn’t mean a vote for them is pointless.

That’s because their MPs can still influence policies made in Westminster, especially if the government doesn’t have a large majority.

So here are the election manifestos 2024 of the more prominent smaller parties in the country.

Green Party for SMEs

In their manifesto, the Green Party aims for real hope and real change. The Greens would support SMEs and the environment by forming regional mutual banks. This action will encourage interest in decarbonisation and improve local economic sustainability, according to the manifesto document.

The party also pledges an annual grant of £2 billion to local authorities and businesses to support their decarbonisation efforts. Furthermore, improved access to government funding would be provided to stimulate community ownership.

The Green Party manifesto also promises investment in skills and training worth £12.4 billion, along with an increase in the minimum wage to £15 an hour. To mitigate the extra costs to SMEs, a reduction in National Insurance payments is proposed.

Additionally, those under zero-hours contracts, working in the ‘gig economy’, and other types of self-employment would be covered by equal employment rights from the first day of employment.

The Green Party also pledges to make a four-day working week a priority. All these policies would be achieved as they aim to shift to a zero-carbon economy for the UK.

Liberal Democrats for SMEs

skills shortage

The Liberal Democrats’ key idea for their election manifesto is that Britain should be one of the most attractive places to do business. To achieve this, they aim to boost SMEs and help them create local jobs.

One measure they propose to support this is to replace the current business rates with a Commercial Landowner Levy to help the economy.

Trading would also be made easier for small and medium-sized businesses. The Lib Dems pledge to provide a single point of contact for information and support for trade to SMEs who need it.

The party also focuses on the current labour and skills gap crisis. They promise to expand higher vocational training and new Lifelong Skills Grants for adults.

Furthermore, they aim to upgrade the current apprenticeship levy to a more flexible skills and training levy. Apprentices would also benefit from guaranteed earnings based on the National Minimum Wage.

The Liberal Democrats also pledge to push for modernising employment rights through a series of measures.

A new employment status, between employed and self-employed, would entitle workers to the same benefits, such as minimum wage and sick pay. Those on zero-hour contracts would also have a 20% higher minimum wage to compensate for fluctuating working hours.

Lastly, individuals would be able to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for ‘zero hours’ and agency workers.

Reform UK for SMEs

The final of the election manifestos 2024 of the smaller parties we look at is Reform UK’s. Their manifesto is “Our contract with you,” which focuses on the most urgent reforms that need to be rolled out 100 days into the new Parliament.

The first pledge of many is to lift the minimum profit threshold to £100k when companies start paying corporation tax. Aside from this, the main Corporation Tax Rate would be reduced in increments. Currently, at 25%, Reform UK proposes to shrink it to 20% for the next year and then to 15% for the third year.

As part of Reform UK’s election manifesto, Business Rates for high street based SMEs would be abolished. As a fallback, the Online Delivery Tax would be set at 4% for multinational businesses.

Small business owners are promised to be free from red tape with the VAT threshold increased to £150,000 and the entrepreneurs’ tax slashed to 5%. Optimistically, these measures will even out the playing field for high streets.

The party aims to abolish IR35 rules to support the self-employed. Additionally, Nigel Farage promises to raise the income tax threshold to £20,000 annually. The higher rate will start at £70,000, as the basic tax rate hovers at 20%.

As a result, the manifesto claims, 7 million Brits will be free from paying Income Tax, while employees can save almost £1,500 annually.

Our verdict on the smaller parties election manifestos 2024

On the face of it, you could argue that the Green Party focuses on workers rights and improving their lives, while Reform UK concentrates on businesses and how they can be supported. The Lib Dems are in the middle, promising to look out for both workers and businesses.

Reform UK’s promises sound good if you are a small business, with big savings on corporation tax and no more business rates. And the higher VAT threshold that is proposed would mean that many SMEs who currently have to pay VAT won’t have to in future.

But where does the money come from to pay for all this? Of course, Nigel Farage doesn’t have to tell us this, because he knows that he never has to come good on all these promises. They sound very much like empty promises to gain votes.

The Green part, being left-wing, is more interested in employees. And while they focus on workers, they do also think about SMEs and how they can support them. That their main focus is on supporting small businesses to decarbonise, isn’t really a surprise either.

And while this is vital, given the challenges facing SMEs in the UK, convincing them of that will be no mean feat.

As for the Liberal Democrats, their policies aim to address some of the challenges SMEs struggle with, such as labour and skills shortages and an inadequate business rate system. But they also want to protect workers, especially those on zero-hours contracts.

All in all, the Lib Dem’s manifesto sounds like it would be most beneficial to small businesses, as they also set out how they would fund their policies.

Photo of author
The Business4Beginners news team consists of several writers who each have their own unique experience in businesses. By keeping their fingers on the pulse, they bring you the latest in news and trends impacting small UK businesses.
Share on:
Main Newsletter - Special Report

Why businesses fail eBook


Why 1 In 5 Businesses Fail In Their First Year

Download your FREE copy when you subscribe to our email newsletter with regular updates and business-boosting tips.

You can unsubscribe at any time.
See our Privacy Policy.