The new coalition Government should be doing a bit less and just giving us the space and freedom to do what we do best - build successful businesses.
After a bit of horse trading, we now have a new, coalition Government. So, this is what I think the Government should be doing for independent businesses. In essence, I would actually like to see them doing a bit less and just giving us the space and freedom to do what we do best - build successful businesses.
I’m fed up with being the unpaid gatherer of government statistics, and being constantly pestered by unelected officials wanting to fill in their tick sheets at my expense. Every week someone wants to know how we dispose of rubbish in our store, what sort of lighting we use, who we are employing - the list goes on. Please, just leave us alone.
The new Government also needs to take a serious look at education. At the moment, the system is entirely geared towards getting people into university, but does not equip the many young people who come to us with the basic, more practical skills required by employers.
Of course, we also need lower taxes - not just corporation tax but all our taxes, including business rates. I’m particularly galled by the fad for adding extra charges on top of our basic rates. Basically, our business and many others are being asked to pay for the new Crossrail scheme in London, despite not having been consulted about this and being nowhere near the proposed route.
Lastly, and most importantly, the new Government must keep the economy on the route to recovery.
I’d be interested to hear from any politicians about how they propose to meet my requirements. But, as I say, the election is now over, so of course they won’t be interested - at least not for another five years.
Bashir Mohammed is the owner of independent designer fashion business American Pie in London