Saturday 13th July 2024

Are the Tories anti-business?

Tories Business

For years, the conservative party have labelled its opposition, the Labour party, as ‘anti-business’, siting its desire for marketplace regulation as being actively against British capitalism. Here are some of the many ways that, despite their smears at the opposition, the Tory party is actually the most anti-business party alive today:

National Insurance

It’s a sad fact of life – those of us who live longer will eventually end up old, and the vast majority of us unable to work for a living – after all, we can’t all be like Judith Kerr, who is still going strong and working at the ripe old age of 93; or the Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts, who this year turns 76. None of us can predict what the future will hold, and so, National Insurance is a vital safety net, not least so for the self-employed. If you work for a company, the chances are that you have your NI contributions taken in manageable increments out of each pay slip, however, if you’re self-employed, no matter how much you make, you have to manage these yourself. Previously, if you wanted to be covered by the state, the fee was £145.60 per year; however, in 2017, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond announced his plan to scrap class two National Insurance, meaning that self-employed people must pay 400% more NICs, or lose their rights to a state pension.

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Business rates

Business rates are a tax on the property in which companies conduct their business – these are substantially higher than council tax, and can put a huge strain on new businesses trying to gain footing, whilst also being competitive.

Although they are allegedly planning to soften the blow (due to some rebel complaints), business rates are set to rise by another 400% in some areas of London, over the next five years.


In the US, most of the time a good job will also get you health insurance (the premiums come out of your own pocket), but what if you’re planning to start a new business on limited funds? Your health care is just one more thing you have to risk if you want to start off solo. With the Tories’ on-going privatisation of our National Health Service on the line, small businesses may soon have another thing to think about.

The ‘pro-business’ policies that the conservatives do have are mostly established to help those that have already ‘made it’, and become big businesses. Regulation is an essential part of keeping consumers safe – lower regulation puts the general public at risk. So, in short, they’re not pro business, they’re just pro-corporation.

Maddy Sutherland

Maddy is a freelance illustrator who lives in Glasgow. She's recently graduated and is working hard to make ends meet. Self-employed? Read Maddy's experiences here.

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