Coalition’s flagship growth policy is “total flop”

Figures released today show that the Coalition's flagship NICs holiday policy has flopped. It has helped just 5,000 businesses rather than the 400,000 originally suggested.

There's a big tax giveaway in this budget - but it's not for you...

The Government’s growth strategy came under renewed pressure today as new figures showed that a key measure has flopped. The news comes after a week when the Coalition have looked increasingly desperate in their attempts to revive the flagging British economy.

A parliamentary answer from Treasury Minister, David Gauke MP – released today by the Labour party – shows that the Government’s flagship NICs holiday policy has helped just 5,137 businesses in its first ten months of operation. In his first Budget speech, George Osborne said:

“For the next three years anyone who sets up a new business outside London, the South East and the Eastern region will be exempt from up to £5,000 of employer national insurance payments, for each of their first 10 employees hired.

“We aim to have the scheme up and running by September, but any qualifying new business set up from today will also receive help. And the Treasury estimate that some 400,000 businesses will benefit – ensuring all parts of our country contribute to a more balanced and sustainable economic future.”

In a speech last October, the Prime Minister hailed the policy saying, “Add to these our cut in the small business profits rate and the fact we have waived national insurance contributions for new businesses in most areas of the country and you have the conditions to breed confidence and investment and boost productivity for the long-term.”

Responding to today’s figures, shadow chancellor, Ed Balls said:

“George Osborne hailed this flagship policy last year saying it could create 800,000 private sector jobs. But it’s turned out to be a total flop with just 1 per cent of the 400,000 businesses George Osborne said would benefit taking advantage.

“Families and businesses who are being hit hard by the Conservative-led Government’s reckless economic policies will be shocked to find out that the administration costs of the scheme are bigger than the amount paid to businesses to help create jobs.”

Official figures released on Tuesday showed that the economy had grown by just 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year and indicated that growth for 2011 was likely to come in at half the level originally predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility in June 2010.

In response, members of the Government set out a series of increasingly outlandish policies. David Cameron’s director of strategy, Steve Hilton, proposed abolishing maternity leave and scrapping consumer rights; Business Secretary Vince Cable announced plans to deregulate the sale of Christmas crackers and chocolate liquers; while London Mayor Boris Johnson called for the termination of the 50p tax rate which is only paid by those earning over £12,500 per month. Right-wing think tanks and writers proposed a set of 1980s-throwback policies which were accurately dismissed as “voodoo economics” by both Vince Cable and the Financial Times’ economics editor. But calls for a Plan B to slow the pace of spending cuts or a Plan G for growth have fallen on deaf ears.

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  • Charles

    So it’s helped out 4,000 businesses so far, but hasn’t cost us any more per business than if it had helped out 400,000. In other words it’s not been a success but neither has it been an expensive failure.

    You know what its a refreshing change to have inexpensive failures for once, and I hope to see many more. It shows a degree of intelligence on the part of ministers because being well aware that schemes often fail, they’re not shoveling money into them.

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  • Bob

    Agreed, I think government should leave business to get on with the business of business, and stick to keeping the streets safe and clean and the borders secure.

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  • Leon Wolfson

    @2 – So we should have been in the worst recession in history, rather than having been pulled out (and now dropped back, by government inaction, to economic stagnation)?

    Yea, right. Unless you are disassociating monetary supply from government…

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  • Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – Government’s don’t have any money they just take more or less of ours and apparently we are in the worst recession in history if you hadn’t noticed.

    I want LESS government thanks and since socialism has been comprehensively rejected the world over your view is an unpopular minority one….

  • Leon Wolfson

    Governments control the supply of money. Your money is only as good as the backing government’s. Your denial of this is typical, but there we go.

    And it’s the right-shift of left-wing parties, alienating vast numbers of voters, which has allowed the left to get in. Of course, you can’t have that reversed and the right tossed out, so you encourage the left to shoot itself in the foot.

    No, Socalism is alive and well. So’s, sadly, your BNP, so quit whining.

  • Leon Wolfson

    Grah. Without the cat’s claws on my lap this time:

    And it’s the right-shift of left-wing parties, alienating vast numbers of voters, which has allowed the right to get in. Of course, you can’t have that reversed and the right tossed out, so you encourage the left to shoot itself in the foot.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – Once a party has “shifted to the right” (and I agree they have the world over) they are no longer socialists. DUH!

    There is no money for the government to control – we are in a recession and have a huge structural deficit. What you don’t like is that people don’t share your minority opinion of socialism Wolfy that’s all…..

  • Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – Perhaps you’d like to check this link for current and previous socialist regimes:

  • Leon Wolfson

    So, a basic denial of the basis of the modern economic system, a paen towards parties abandoning their voter base and complete denial about the counties who have governments from parties in the socalist international alone.

    About right for a BNP screed.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – You claim to be a Socialist. I stated that is a minority pursuit rejected by every single country in the world where people are given choice and you resort to calling me a BNP member simply because I disagree with you and everyone reading this knows I am right.

    About right for a New Labour voter.


  • Leon Wolfson

    Yes, about right for a BNP’er – inability to comprehend even the basics of reality. You are basing your “analysis” on country names, which is pathetic even for your kind. And I am calling you what you are – again, it was trivial to research..if you want to claim otherwise, that you’re..say a C18 or EDL member, please feel free to do so.

    And of course you have to claim “I’m right, I’m right, everyone knows I’m right”, because you have no argument, and no credibility on anything. All you can really do is post silly laughs and foul up adult conservation.

  • Anon E Mouse


  • Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – Just man up and apologise….

  • Leon Wolfson

    Yes, I’m sorry I ever bothered thinking you were not an irrational neo-nazi scumbag. There.

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