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John Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, responding to the Tory-led Government's announcement on business start-ups, said: 

"The Tory-led Government, for all their rhetoric, were forced last week to admit that growth would be much lower than forecast this year and next year because of their decision to cut too far, too fast and choke off growth. This is a small-scale announcement at a time when businesses are struggling and the British economy is stalling, all while we see comparable countries grow strongly. 

"The Government’s announcement today is marred by its inability to tell the truth about Labour’s record in supporting businesses to start up and grow. Business start-ups flourished under Labour, with an additional 1.1 million enterprises being created in 13 years. 

"For the last two years the World Bank has ranked the UK fourth in the world - and first amongst European countries - for 'ease of doing business'. The OECD also found that the UK has the lowest barriers to entrepreneurship of all OECD countries. The Growth Strategy does little to build on this solid basis for start-ups. 

"It is important that new, innovative businesses are set up, but they also need to survive and grow. The Tory-led Government needs to make clear how they intend to support new start-ups beyond the £1500 they are announcing today." 

Nigel Doughty, Chairman of Doughty Hanson & Co and Chair of Labour's independent SME Taskforce, said: 

"Any investment in the business ingenuity of British entrepreneurs is welcome, but the Government should be clear that entrepreneurship thrived under Labour, with SME turnover increasing by 36% from £2.39 trillion to £3.24 trillion, allowing new businesses to reinvest their profits and expand.     

"I’m chairing a taskforce into SMEs where we will be looking at the wide range of support and action that is needed to help businesses start, grow and develop. We need a long term strategy to create the environment for start ups to flourish, not a series of single announcements." 

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