Digby Jones: Business should be high on the election agenda

Entrepreneurs will need to put pressure on their MPs on the run up to the election if they want to see a change in how business is regulated, former head of the CBI Lord Digby Jones said today.

During an impassioned speech at the launch of BT Small Business week in London this morning, Lord Jones said business owners need to ‘give [MPs] a hard time’ if they want to see a change in how government services to businesses are delivered.

“In the next six months, we need to get small businesses on to the radar screens of those who make the rules,” he said.

He encouraged business owners to speak directly to candidates to make their voices heard. “You’re the only people on earth who generate the wealth and generate the taxation that we’ll use to pay off the debts,” he said. “You make the profit, you pay tax on it. There would not be one pound of taxation in the UK if it wasn’t for you. I want you to push how important you are.”

Lord Jones also stressed the importance of rewarding employees for their hard work during the recession. “On the way up, remember they were with you on the way down.”

“Stick £20 in their pay packet with a little thank you note, or send them a letter. Rolls Royce can’t do that, BA can’t do that – but you can, because you are small businesses and that is how you survive.”

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