The former chairman of Channel 4 and renowned private equity specialist, Luke Johnson, has said mid-sized businesses in Britain are being stifled by red tape, despite being the “unsung heroes” of the economy.
The businessman accused senior ministers in the Coalition Government – including Business Secretary, Vince Cable – of inhibiting “the pro-enterprise inclinations of Government”, and were not experienced enough in enterprise to be making major judgements.
He said that mid-sized companies – where he had spent most of his career – were the “key engine of the recovery” in the British economy.
“They provide the vast majority of the new jobs created by the private sector in the UK, they are disproportionately innovative in terms of new products and services, they are crucial for the reinvigoration of our economy,” he said, adding that there was a whole range of issues that were standing in their way.
Johnson suggested a number of measures that could be taken to help these businesses, starting with a simplified tax regime and a two-tier employment legislation system. In the long term he said there needed to be a fundamental change of business strategies in order to make building a business easier, rather than the continued development of “pointless bureaucracy”.
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