Adam Afriyie MP for Windsor took the opportunity to compliment Robyn Bourne, Thames Valley Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses on what a great job she’s doing of lobbying Parliament for small businesses.
You’d hardly expect anything else of the sister of Jason! Nice work, credit where it’s due… have you thought of joining?
There were 12 for lunch on Friday at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park… what a venue! And what a healthy lunch it was… fine buffet dining indeed.
You go back in time entering Windsor Great Park which is great for the mind and helps you think of some great questions to ask your MP as you pass the village green thinking about what’s for pudding 😉
Adam Afriyie MP has a sharp mind, you have to to become as successful a businessman as he has, taking those skills learned through hard knocks into Parliament and ensuring a solid business balance when dealing with fellow MPs who might have simply landed from studying politics at University and have been drafted into parliamentary seats as they’re very good at doing as they are told.
There were four main topics up for discussion to which he gave considered, thoughtful responses. The following are not verbatim comments from Adam but my take on his words expressed in my way… he’s a politician, he has to punch gently!
On the subject of a local Chemist closing its doors he suggested that the 1% cut in subsidy was unlikely to be the root cause and perhaps the local population might look to themselves on where they purchase their medicines? And that shop keepers need to reflect on the range of products they sell and those used to subsidies might want to start thinking out of the box and expanding their range while at the same time reflect on their current opening hours. You need to do what your customer needs you to do in 2016.
On late payment by larger companies who have you over a barrel. He understands this problem only too well and Parliament will be bringing in some new instruments, creating laws which will be based on 30 & 60 day maximum terms and a new commissioner to manage the process. Companies will also have to publish their actual average payment days so that smaller businesses can decide if they need to / want to Factor the business and take the order or simply walk away.
On tax he said how it is the only way that government has of generating revenue and therefore needs to be at the optimum level that encourages companies to base themselves in the UK and allows them to grow and prosper. That taxes should be about discouraging negative activity and not be a punishment to entrepreneurs who want to be home grown successes. He said that everyone of us has a moral duty to pay as little tax as possible and it is for governments to simplify the tax laws to minimise abuse by those who might want to simply take the proverbial. He feels this government is on track for 17% company tax.
On Europe he is #VOTELEAVE because he is a successful businessman and believes that we can make better job of it under our own steam. Why should 80% of our laws be made by unelected European Commissioners? We should control our own borders. Taxes should be raised and spent locally and when you look at World Trade, Europe is going downhill with 50% unemployment for young people while in other parts of the world the opportunities are much greater for UK businesses.
That was the end of the formal FSB questions and the floor was open for more… so I asked about TTIP… Adam and I have exchanged emails & letters on the subject going back 3-4 years and so I asked if his stance had changed given the latest news that Green Peace had published 75% of the current document for the world to see. Was it still cricket in his mind or had Green Peace’s six knocked it out of the park? The emphasis being on American Corporations being able to sue the UK Government / EU if we decide to change the laws. They work with fewer protections for people and places in the USA and so if they felt we were being “unfair” they could ask for compensation through the courts… which feels bonkers to me.
Adam is still a fan… he likes government based agreements that smooth the flow of trade… he’s just negotiated a £200 million deal with Ghana as UK Government Envoy.
It’s funny how we all take positions on things which might to others appear contrary but to ourselves we are perfectly happy with… to me EU and TTIP go hand in hand in favour of corporations over people and the environment but hey, I ain’t no MP.
Adam took the time to have a few words with both the young and elderly alike… although he understood when Mark May simply wandered off mid conversation wondering why they hadn’t brought out the brandy and cigars yet… “Churchill wouldn’t have tolerated this!” he was heard to be muttering half way down the long walk 😉
Well done FSB on putting on such an event… shame more didn’t turn up but then, silver lining, everyone got to say or ask something of their Windsor MP Adam Afriyie.
Thank you for the invite.