Election 2024: How Party Manifestoes Could Impact Small Businesses in the UK

As the 2024 UK election draws nearer, small business owners are keenly aware of how the potential shift in power could impact their operations. Understanding the manifestoes of the main political parties – Labour, Conservative, Green Party, and Liberal Democrats – is crucial for preparing for the future. Here’s a closer look at what each party proposes for small businesses.

Labour Party

Taxation and Finance

Labour’s manifesto traditionally focuses on increasing public spending and social welfare, funded by higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. For small businesses, this could mean:

  • Corporate Tax: An increase in corporate tax rates, especially for larger corporations, could indirectly affect small businesses through changes in supply chain costs and market dynamics.
  • Business Rates: Labour has indicated a willingness to review business rates, which could benefit small businesses struggling with high property costs.
  • Access to Finance: Proposals to increase funding for SMEs, particularly through government-backed schemes and incentives for banks to lend to small enterprises.

Employment and Labour Rights

Labour often emphasises worker rights and fair wages:

  • Minimum Wage: A potential increase in the minimum wage could raise labour costs for small businesses.
  • Worker Protections: Enhanced worker protections and rights, such as improved sick pay and holiday entitlements, which may require adjustments in employment practices.

Green Initiatives

Labour’s commitment to a green economy includes:

  • Sustainable Practices: Incentives for businesses adopting sustainable practices, which could present opportunities for SMEs in green sectors.
  • Environmental Regulations: Stricter environmental regulations that might require businesses to invest in greener technologies and processes.

Conservative Party

Taxation and Finance

The Conservative manifesto typically focuses on lower taxes and deregulation to stimulate economic growth:

  • Corporate Tax: Potential reductions or stability in corporate tax rates, which could leave more profits in the hands of business owners.
  • Business Rates: Continued reliefs and potential reforms to business rates to support high street businesses and small enterprises.
  • Investment Incentives: Encouragement of private investment through tax incentives and simplified processes for accessing government grants.

Employment and Labour Rights

The Conservatives often prioritise flexible labour markets:

  • Minimum Wage: Moderate increases in the minimum wage to balance affordability for businesses and fair wages for workers.
  • Employment Law: Policies aimed at maintaining flexibility in employment law, reducing red tape for hiring and firing.

Green Initiatives

The Conservative approach to green policies balances business interests with environmental goals:

  • Sustainability: Encouraging voluntary adoption of sustainable practices with financial incentives rather than strict regulations.
  • Green Investment: Investment in green infrastructure and technologies, potentially benefiting businesses involved in these sectors.

Green Party

Taxation and Finance

The Green Party’s manifesto emphasises sustainability and social equality:

  • Corporate Tax: Higher corporate taxes, especially for larger companies, with funds redirected to support green initiatives and social welfare.
  • Business Rates: Reforms to ensure business rates reflect environmental impact, potentially providing relief for environmentally-friendly businesses.
  • Access to Finance: Increased support for green businesses, including grants and loans for sustainable projects.

Employment and Labour Rights

The Green Party focuses on worker welfare and sustainable jobs:

  • Minimum Wage: Significant increases in the minimum wage to ensure a living wage for all workers, impacting payroll budgets for small businesses.
  • Worker Protections: Strong emphasis on worker rights and protections, potentially increasing administrative and financial burdens on employers.

Green Initiatives

Sustainability is at the core of the Green Party’s policies:

  • Environmental Regulations: Stricter environmental regulations requiring businesses to adopt greener practices.
  • Green Investments: Significant investment in green infrastructure and support for businesses in renewable energy and sustainable sectors.

Liberal Democrats

Taxation and Finance

The Liberal Democrats typically advocate for balanced economic policies:

  • Corporate Tax: Moderate changes to corporate tax, aiming to balance economic growth with social responsibility.
  • Business Rates: Comprehensive review and reform of business rates to support SMEs and high street businesses.
  • Access to Finance: Support for SMEs through improved access to finance, grants, and incentives for innovation.

Employment and Labour Rights

The Liberal Democrats emphasise fair working conditions:

  • Minimum Wage: Incremental increases in the minimum wage to ensure fair pay without drastically impacting business costs.
  • Worker Protections: Policies to enhance worker rights and protections, including support for flexible working and family-friendly practices.

Green Initiatives

The Liberal Democrats focus on sustainable growth:

  • Environmental Regulations: Balanced approach to environmental regulations, encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable practices without excessive burdens.
  • Green Investments: Investment in green technologies and support for businesses transitioning to a low-carbon economy.


Understanding the manifestoes of the major political parties can help small business owners anticipate changes and plan accordingly. Each party offers different approaches to taxation, labour rights, and sustainability, which will impact businesses in various ways. At 1 Accounts, we’re here to help you navigate these potential changes and ensure your business is prepared for the future. Stay informed, stay prepared, and don’t hesitate to reach out for expert advice and support.

For more detailed insights and tailored advice, visit our website www.1accounts.co.uk. Let’s work together to ensure your business thrives no matter the political landscape.

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