Thatcher minister handed SME review

By staff

David Cameron has tasked a former Thatcher minister with reassessing the government’s relationship with small and medium-sized businesses, acknowledging “there is so much more we need to do”.

David Young, who served as Margaret Thatcher’s trade and industry secretary from 1987 to 1989, will deliver a “brutally honest” report on successive government’s failures in dealing with smaller businesses.

His assessment will be the first big job in his role as Mr Cameron’s enterprise adviser. The prime minister wants to know how ministers can do more to encourage start-ups, remove burdens, maximise opportunities and improve engagement with small businesses.

“I am seeking nothing less than a wholesale change in attitude from my government and I need help to get there,” Mr Cameron said.

“So I am delighted that Lord Young will be my enterprise adviser; he’ll be working to identify what we need to do to help small businesses grow. He brings his own passion for business and a wealth of experience to the role.”

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) provide nearly 60% of jobs and half Britain’s GDP, and were recognised as being important in the prime minister’s speech to the CBI conference last week.

Lord Young said: “I’ll be focusing on what barriers government policy have been put in the way of small business development and helping to advise on what can be done to make life easier for businesses and start to grow.”