The triumph of the Lionesses is a well-needed tonic. Not just to cheer us all but to celebrate the fact that women have no reason to feel second fiddle to us men! These players, and women in elite football generally, have had a much steeper hill to climb then male players which is true in other walks of life. I’m hopeful that this will no longer be the case in football, and this should help to even things out in other professions such as politics for example! Putting this to one side the match was equally as stressful as watching the men's English team finals and I enjoyed seeing some excellent football by some determined and passionate players. This team has put English woman's football on the list of English sporting events not to miss!
Last week I hosted a discussion with business owners asking what the new PM should do to help businesses flourish. If we are looking for more highly skilled and better paid jobs we need to look to our businesses to deliver these. Understanding how the Government can support these jobs and skills is critical.
A number of ideas developed including the need to make access to cash for small and medium-sized businesses much easier. These businesses are often deemed as higher risk so commercial loans are expensive and out of reach holding up growth and employment opportunities. A clear message was for the next PM to scrap the sharp rise planned for corporation tax. Successive Conservative Governments have favoured cutting corporation tax as it supports competitiveness and attracts inward investment. The current Government, or at least Rishi Sunak, favour putting the tax up to 25% next April from 19% for businesses with profits over £50,000. Other asks from these businesses are to simplify the way we organise apprenticeships and staff training, simplify tax generally to cut the costs of administration and create a more constructive relationship between businesses and regulatory bodies. A shift to advising and enabling businesses to be compliant rather than clobbering them with enforcement for breaching an often obscure piece of regulation would encourage business development and expansion which takes me right back to my opening gambit around highly skilled, highly paid job growth!
The bid to become the next PM for Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss continues although it is not tending to inject much enthusiasm for those interested in our political system! However, there are some curious ideas evolving such as the proposal to fine people who repeatedly miss GP appointments in order to address waste in the NHS. Missed appointments certainly present a problem for GP practice and GP practices work hard to address this issue. But I’d suggest that GPs at the moment are more concerned about their declining numbers and the fact that retirement age is looming for many. And if NHS waste is the problem the solution is to look at the fractured nature of NHS delivery and the significant increase in NHS managers in recent years. Focus attention here to drive down waste.