Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore writes a column for newspapers in his Borders constituency. Here’s the latest edition.

Paralympics

The fantastic display of sport and athleticism we saw in the Olympics last month is now being displayed all the more in the London 2012 Paralympics, with an astonishing haul of medals from Paralympics GB. Sadly however for the Borders, Kate Murray was unsuccessful last week in her medal bid in the archery but she has said that she aims to represent her country again in Rio in four years’ time. As local MP, I want to wish her all the best as she now works towards this next goal.

Borders Businesses

Last week, I visited Mainetti with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie. During the visit we discussed the key challenges and opportunities the company is currently facing as well as the work the Government is doing to support local companies in these tough economic times.

The Government is taking decisive action to boost business by ensuring they have access to the finance they need to grow and create jobs. This is why we are kick-starting bank lending through the new Funding for Lending scheme which reduces the funding costs of banks and building societies, allowing them to make loans less costly and less scarce.

We are also committed to a stable, competitive tax system, which provides greater rewards for hard work, drives investment and encourages innovation while punishing tax-dodgers and evaders. As well as cutting corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7, the Government has also cut the small profits rate to 20%, and introduced tax simplification for small businesses. To help new businesses in the Borders with the costs of employing staff we have also introduced the Regional Employer National Insurance Contributions Holiday.

In the regular conversations I have with local businesses, one of the issues that is often brought to my attention is regulation. I am glad to say that as a Government, we have heeded these frustrations and we are cutting red tape by introducing a new one-in, one-out rule, so no new domestic regulation can be brought in without regulation of an equivalent value being removed. In April last year, we also introduced a three-year moratorium on new domestic regulation affecting micro businesses and start-ups and under our Red Tape Challenge we have committed that 50% of over 1800 regulations will be scrapped or improved – saving small businesses over £350m per year.

Another key issue facing Borders businesses is the uncertainty surrounding Scotland’s future. I am convinced that remaining in the UK is better for Borders businesses and our local economy because as part of the UK we have a trusted currency, record low interest rates and a competitive business environment. Local businesses also benefit from the UK single market with no boundaries, borders or customs and a single set of regulations. These are the things that will help us weather the economic storm in Europe, that will put our economy back on the road to recovery and that will generate the jobs we need. I believe we are stronger together and weaker apart and this is why I will be campaigning for Scotland to remain in the UK.

* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.

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2 Comments

  • Uncertainty? A blind man could see that it is lack of demand that is causing the economy to spiral slowly downwards.
    Thatcherite supply side policies cannot break the cycle . Its Osborne and Alexander who are causing the problem.

  • Paralympics athletes will soon be rewarded for their efforts by having their DLA taken from them, the money that helped them achieve. They will not qualify for PIP.

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