MPs can go on work experience

The Federation of Small Businesses has offered to help arrange work experience in a small firm to any MP who would like to learn how laws passed at Westminster affect business. But Huntingdonshire s MPs are unlikely to need to take up the offer. Both Jona

The Federation of Small Businesses has offered to help arrange work experience in a small firm to any MP who would like to learn how laws passed at Westminster affect business.

But Huntingdonshire's MPs are unlikely to need to take up the offer. Both Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) and Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) are corporate lawyers and both are members of the House of Commons committee considering the latest Companies Bill.

The Bill - which started life as the Company Law Reform Bill - is, at more than 860 clauses with 1,350 amendments, believed to be the longest piece of legislation Parliament has ever considered.

Malcolm Lyons, Huntingdonshire chairman of the FSB, which has 195,000 members among sole traders and small and medium-sized enterprises, said research had found that only seven per cent of Labour MPs, 40 per cent of Conservative MPs and 29 per cent of Liberal Democrat MPs had experience in business.


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The FSB wants to improve the level of knowledge of small firms in Parliament with the hopes that this will lead to a lighter regulatory touch - the purpose of the new Companies Bill.

The FSB complains that regulations aimed at controlling the activities of large corporations add massively and disproportionately to the burden on small companies.

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The average small firm owner currently spends 28 hours a month filling in forms. This is time that the owner/manager could spend developing the business to provide more employment opportunities for local people, the organisation insists.

"Mr Djanogly has business experience and has also run his own company. I believe his wife also does," Mr Lyons told The Hunts Post.

"If he wants us to arrange a visit, we will, of course. But he already understands the issues very well. It's really aimed at those MPs who have no business experience.

"What I prefer to do is to show them small businesses - and several of them - to help them understand 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.

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