Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Sunday, 10 January 2010

Conservatives outline new measures to help small firms

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All the main parties are trying to attract the small business vote

The Conservatives have outlined a series of new policy measures to help small firms and entrepreneurs.

Their plans include cutting the time it takes to start a new business, and ending rules preventing social housing tenants from running a firm from home.

The Labour government has a number of measures in place to help small firms, most recently announcing that it would defer a rise in corporation tax.

The Liberal Democrats also have a series of policies to help small firms.

'Change'

Under the Conservatives' new plans, the party also said it wished to reduce the number of firms going bankrupt over small amounts of unpaid taxes.

It said it would achieve this by increasing the statutory threshold over which the government can petition to make a business insolvent.

"The message that seems to be coming out of Labour at the moment is 'don't start a business, don't buy your home, don't try and leave money to your children, don't try and get on'," said Conservative leader David Cameron.

"All of that is going to change."

All the main parties are trying to attract the small business vote ahead of the general election.



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