The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has offered to help arrange work experience in a small company for any MP that would like to learn how laws passed at Westminster affect business. The feeling is that if MPs could be made to realise how much time is spent on red tape they might come up with better ways to legislate.
Research by the House of Commons Library found that just 7% of Labour MPs, 40% of Conservative MPs and 29% of Liberal Democrat MPs have experience in business. The FSB would like to improve the level of knowledge and understanding of running a small business among MPs with the hope that this will lead to a lighter regulatory touch.
The average small firm owner currently spends 28 hours a month filling in forms. This is time that the owner / manager could spend growing the business to provide more employment opportunities for local people.
The FSB already works with the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) to improve Parliamentary understanding of business. This proposal for industrial placements is designed to compliment the excellent work done by the IPT.
Carol Undy, FSB National Chairman, said, "It is quite obvious that many MPs are not aware of the issues that affect business and their ability to sustain economic growth and employment. The nature of a large amount of legislation affecting business clearly demonstrates this lack of understanding.
"In the spirit of cooperation we would like to offer all MPs the opportunity to spend a day or longer with a local small firm to learn how legislation affects business. This way the laws that come out of Westminster in future should achieve their aim without the unintended consequences that hold back business growth.
"Local branches of the FSB are very active in representing their members. MPs are encouraged to contact their local FSB representatives to arrange meetings outside of the usual round of discussions to set up a day's work experience."
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