Welcome for entrepreneur report - but prioritise slashing red-tape, says McIntyre

09-Jan-2013 @ 17:0

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Entrepreneurs will flourish given freedom from red tape - not through wishful thinking or bureaucratic diktat, a Conservative MEP warned today.

West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre, Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament, was responding to an "action plan" announced by the European Commission to "support entrepreneurs and revolutionise entrepreneurial culture in Europe".

Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani said his plan stressed the key role of education and training and included specific measures to help budding entrepreneurs among young people, women, seniors, migrants, and the unemployed.

Miss McIntyre gave the report a cautious welcome. She said in places it echoed her own calls for easier access to funding and other help for small businesses. However, she would have welcomed much greater emphasis on boosting competitiveness by reining back burdensome regulation.

She said: "It is good that the Commission has publicly and unequivocally recognised the importance of entrepreneurs. The report is full of good intention and has sound aims. However I worry that in parts it is a typical business plan drawn up by bureaucrats.

"You cannot create entrepreneurs through bureaucratic force of will. The best way to help entrepreneurs is to get out of their way and let them get on with it.

"The plan helpfully expresses an intention to tackle burdensome regulation - but it comes last on the commission's list.

"I hope it is not just an afterthought, because slashing red tape should be central to the plan if it is to have success or real meaning to small businesses.

The Tajano report noted that the number of Europeans who wanted to be their own boss had dropped by 20% within three years.

Miss McIntyre said: "The report blames the current economic climate for this dramatic fall - but I'm sure it has more to do with the burden of red tape from Brussels. Over-regulation has made running your own business increasingly challenging and hiring staff less attractive.

"That is why I have argued strongly for greater opportunities for small businesses through reduction in regulations and greater access to finance.

"As someone who has run a small business myself, I believe in keeping things simple. Encourage research and development, get finance flowing again and get on with completing the single market. Most importantly, set would-be entrepreneurs free - and they will do the rest"

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