General Election 2024 – small business policies you need to know about

UPDATED: The race is on for the General Election 2024, but what are the parties pledging? We look at the policies affecting small businesses

The General Election 2024 is now in full swing, with a start to campaigns across the country. But what’s in it for small business owners?

We’ve taken a look at the policies, websites and pledges of the seven leading parties. This is what we know so far, but we will be updating this article as new information is announced.

Read on to find out about all of the policies or go straight to your preferred parties:

  1. Conservative
  2. Labour
  3. Liberal Democrats
  4. SNP
  5. Green Party
  6. Reform
  7. Plaid Cymru


The Conservative Party have released a Clear Plan manifesto document.

It outlines a ten-point plan to support SMEs:

  • Ease burden of business rates for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality by gradually increasing the multiplier on distribution warehouses that support online selling
  • Keep VAT threshold under review
  • Improve finance access for SMEs by expanding Open Finance and exploring the creation of regional mutual banks
  • Lift employee threshold so that more business qualify as medium sized and have reduced reporting responsibilities
  • Retain tax incentives including the Enterprise Investment Scheme, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, Venture Capital Trusts
  • Promote digital invoicing and improve enforcement of the Prompt Payment Code
  • Ensure that Basel III capital reporting requirements don’t inhibit lending to SMEs
  • Continue the Invest in Women Task Force and the Lilac Review to encourage more female and disabled entrepreneurs
  • Work with British Business Bank and public sector fund managers to establish a £250 million Invest in Women Fund
  • Work with public sector organisations to ensure that procurement opportunities are focused on SMEs in their local economies

Some of the other policies listed in the document include:

  • A look to extend full expensing to include leasing
  • Won’t raise corporation tax
  • Raise public spending on R&D to £22 billion per year
  • Abolish main rate of National Insurance for the self-employed by the end of the next parliament


Labour’s manifesto is broken into chapter on their website. Policies include:

  • Create a Growth and Skills Levy
  • Replace business rates system
  • Reform the British Business Bank, including a stronger mandate to promote growth in regions and nations
  • Review procurement rules to give SMEs a greater chance to access government grants
  • Improve guidance and remove barriers to exporting for small businesses

Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems were one of the first major parties to launch their 2024 manifesto, with plenty to keep an eye on as a small business owner.

During their party conference in autumn 2023, the Liberal Democrats launched a “Fair Deal” plan, which would aim to reinvigorate and invest in the UK economy and business sector. This is reflected in their 2024 manifesto, where they state: “We will work in partnership with business to offer stability and ensure that we maximise the opportunities for investment, growth and employment across the country.”  

A proposed reform of business rates is a key part of the Lib Dems’ plan to revitalise the high street, but this will of course affect small business owners as well. In general, stability is the name of the game here, with the party looking to make it easier for businesses to create new jobs and hire employees. 

  • Abolish business rates and replace with Commercial Landowner Levy
  • Make it easier to create jobs and hire employees
  • Introduce a general duty of care for the environment and human rights in business operations and supply chains
  • A four-stage roadmap to rebuild the relationship with the EU
  • Review IR35 reforms
  • End loan charge
  • Work with the major banks to fund the creation of a local banking sector dedicated to meeting the needs of local small and medium-sized businesses
  • Tackle late payments by requiring all government agencies and contractors and companies with more than 250 employees to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, making it enforceable


The SNP have launched their manifesto too. There’s no specific mention of small businesses in Scotland but here are the relevant key pledges:

  • Aim for Scotland to rejoin the EU and the single market
  • Increase maternity pay to one year and promote shared parental leave
  • Establish a veterinary agreement with the EU to ease exports and imports
  • Devolve employment rights and minimum wage in order to scrap zero hours contracts, ‘fire and rehire’ contracts and take steps to close the gender pay gap

Green Party

The Green Party have been actively discussing policies around small businesses and how they can support them in green efforts. Its 2024 manifesto includes a number of policies aimed towards protecting employees but also supporting small businesses:

  • Repeal of current anti-union legislation and its replacement with a positive Charter of Workers’ Rights, with the right to strike at its heart along with a legal obligation for all employers to recognise trade unions.
  • A maximum 10:1 pay ratio for all private- and public-sector organisations.
  • An increase in the minimum wage to £15 an hour, no matter your age, with the costs to small businesses offset by reducing their National Insurance payments.
  • Equal employment rights for all workers from their first day of employment, including those working in the ‘gig economy’ and on zero-hours contracts. Gig employers that repeatedly break employment, data protection or tax law will be denied licences to operate.
  • A move to a four-day working week


Reform (formerly the Brexit Party) have a contract on their website as opposed to a manifesto.

In the first 100 days, they pledge to:

  • Increase minimum profit threshold on corporation tax to £100,000
  • Reduce the main corporation tax rate from 25 per cent to 20 per cent, then to 15 per cent from year five
  • Abolish IR35 rules
  • Increase VAT threshold to £150,000

After that:

  • Abolish business rates for high street SMEs
  • Introduce online delivery tax at 4 per cent for large, multinational enterprises
  • Cut entrepreneurs’ tax relief to 5 per cent
  • Scrap employment laws

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru has launched a manifesto on their website, with a section on Supporting our Businesses:

  • Amend the business rates multiplier to support high street businesses
  • Aim for 75 per cent of Welsh public sector spending being with companies located in Wales
  • Promote co-operative, employee and community ownership models
  • Guarantee high-speed internet connection for every business
  • Introducing a living wage for apprentices

Read more

What could the General Election 2024 mean for small businesses? – The UK General Election is happening on July 4, 2024. What do small business owners and professionals want to see from the next government?

Related Topics

General Election