In response to the CPF consultation on Jobs & Pensions, we received substantive submissions from 62 CPF groups, representing at least 688 members from 108 constituencies plus one Conservatives Abroad group. Of those who participated this time, one-in-five (22%) had not previously participated in CPF discussions. Thank you to everybody who let us know their views.
Particular congratulations to the following CPF Groups, which submitted the most noteworthy submissions:
Thirsk and Malton
Beverley and Holderness
Broadland and Norwich
Esher and Walton
Newcastle North and East
Below is a snapshot of the top themes raised by CPF groups. A more detailed collation of responses has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, the Party Chairman and the CPF Chairman. As usual, we look forward to publishing a formal response to members’ ideas in due course.
Overview of Top Themes
“Small businesses do not want Government support other than simple reporting and taxation systems.” “Help them by getting out of their way.”
“Microbusinesses form 90% of total enterprises in England; 79% employ 0-4 individuals. Maybe there should be a minister for small businesses and entrepreneurship?”
“The Government and state should do less; reduce the burden of legislation.”
“Prisoners need much better education, training and mental health help to better integrate into society and get a job when they leave prison.”
“Older workers often have care responsibilities, easing demands on social services.”
“There ought to be a public debate about the unfunded pension liabilities of government.”
“The percentages of earnings paid into pension schemes under the auto-enrolment system is nowhere near enough to provide an income of any significance in retirement.”
There were widespread calls for policies that the government has since adopted, e.g.,
Cancel the proposed increase in National Insurance contributions.
HMRC’s IR35 regime urgently needs drastic revision to support self-employment.
Small companies need an energy cap as well as consumers.
The upper limit on the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) should be increased, kept pace with inflation, and the SEIS sunset date of 2025 removed.
Seven-out-of-eight (87%) CPF Groups called for greater tax incentives for microbusinesses.
Over three-in-seven (44%) said to start education about pensions in schools.
Three-in-seven (43%) called for reduced red tape and regulation.
One-in-three (33%) highlighted job sharing, flexible/part-time working and working from home.
One-in-four (25%) called for reform of business rates; e.g., replace with tiered taxation.
One-in-five (19%) called for improved provision of affordable, means-tested nursery and childcare.
Other top suggestions included:
Legislate that payment to a microbusiness should be 30 days maximum.
Introduce a Work Progression Accreditation scheme, perhaps building on Investors in People: offer employers a ‘Kite Mark’ for the quality of their on-the-job training.
Simplify the apprenticeship scheme, especially for small business where movement between employers may have to happen: the funding should move with the student.
Refocus JobCentres with an emphasis on employment and career progression, providing access to vocational training opportunities and publicising the availability of work coaches.
Extend Internships programme by bringing about Returnships: a professional internship designed specifically for people (usually women) returning after an extended career break.
Adopt the recommendations of the Fawcett Society, in Menopause and the Workplace.
Adopt the Canadians’ excellent five-year National Financial Literacy Strategy.
Have younger people invest in a general wealth fund that can be used to support a mortgage in the early days and for health needs and a pension in later life.
Increase the mandatory pension contribution rates for employers and employees.
A Government-developed and branded App for pensions that enables individuals to calculate the amount they need and gives access to a range of relevant information.
Have Ofgem set energy bands and maximum pricing rates for each band, as in Malta, where the kWh tariff structure consists of a number of tiers of consumption bands with higher kWh tariffs for higher consumption bands.
Hold an urgent review into the comparability of total NHS and Civil Service remuneration (including pension benefits) with the private sector.
Put all MPs onto Defined Contribution pension schemes.