Britain ‘is risking its economic future by pandering to big businesses and ignoring start-ups’

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MINISTERS are risking Britain’s economic future by pandering to big business and ignoring start-ups, the Treasury Chief Secretary has declared.

In a swipe at her colleagues, Liz Truss said Government had to review the £20 billion it spends each YEAR in support for big business – to encourage new entrants and unleash the huge amount of talent around the UK.

Lizz Truss has urged the Government to do more to help small businesses

The £20 billion-worth of support is equivalent to 4p on income tax. And she separately urged her own Government to simplify taxes, slash planning red-tape and embrace the internet to “get Britain moving”.

The blast comes just week after Business Secretary Greg Clark was forced to admit Nissan pocketed nearly £61 million. It’s part of a £150 million package promised to leading carmakers since the Referendum in 2016.

Speaking yesterday, Ms Truss said: “It’s always tempting for government to end up listening to the big players. I don’t want to see Government money used to protect old industry and stop new industry starting.”

“We’re seeking to become a more competitive country, we’re seeking to lead the world in enterprise. We simply cannot afford to ignore huge amounts of talent.”

AID SMALL BUSINESSES

She added: “The Government needs to make sure that we are not skewing the playing field against new entrants and ensure that those who fund businesses are also looking beyond the usual suspects.”

Ms Truss didn’t specifically mention grants to carmarkers in her speech – to small business think tank Enterprise Nation. But she said the big business had an unfair advantage in securing grants because of their lobbying operations and big legal departments.

She added: “I’m very keen as a government that we try to make sure that we’re looking at how will everything we do affects new entrants.”


Ms Truss separately renewed calls for radical changes to planning rules to make it easier for new houses to be built and open up new land for office space and manufacturing. She added that the internet had to be seen as a force for good – despite the justified criticism of web giants over online hate.

She said a recent survey showed 82 per cent of Brits believed the internet had made their lives better. And she added young entrepreneurs were able to use the ‘net to get their ideas off the ground.

“It is those ideas and these people that drive progress in our country.”

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