MP Stephen Timms attacks government on National Insurance

MP STEPHEN Timms has said the Coalition Government is not doing enough to help East London entrepreneurs.

The East Ham MP and Labour Shadow Employment Minister was speaking during a House of Commons debate on the National Insurance Contributions (NICS) Bill.

The Bill proposes a three-year regional NICS holiday for new employers in order to help encourage private sector jobs in areas hit by public sector redundancies.

London and the south-east are excluded from the exemption because of their relatively low reliance on public sector employment.

Mr Timms said the policy would discourage entrepreneurial spirit in East London and that Prime Minister David Cameron’s bid to create a silicon valley in the area was being undermined by his own Treasury team.


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Speaking after the Commons’ debate, Mr Timms added: “A few weeks ago, the Prime Minister told me in Prime Minister’s Question Time that the East of London would be a ‘fantastic space for an incubator for new businesses’.

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“Moreover, Boris Johnson speaks of harnessing the opportunities of the 21st Century.

“He is on the record as saying the government must do more to cement our position as a global magnet for new talent and a leading hub for new businesses.

“What is strange is that the Bill being pursued by the Treasury will do precisely the opposite — it will stifle innovation in East London and jeopardise the economic recovery.”

In response to Mr Timms’ comments, a Treasury spokesman said: “The Chancellor has been very clear that Britain is open for business and that the private sector is crucial to ensuring growth over the coming years.

“The National Insurance holiday is just one of a number of measures at the Budget designed to support private sector enterprise and make sure that the economy benefits from sustainable economic growth.

“In addition to this businesses across the country will also benefit from a big rise in the point at which NICS become due, a cut in Corporation Tax and a simpler tax system which the government is committed to achieving.”

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