Are All Enterprises Equal?

Most people seem to agree on the need to keep enterprise at the top of the agenda to solve our current economic problems.

During recent years the Programme for Government and all political parties have reinforced the need to support enterprise and grow the private sector.

We have many government departments and a myriad of other organisations working to create and retain jobs and attract inward investment.

Government policy is dedicated to supporting enterprise to create a rebalanced economy, so we can generate sufficient wealth to pay our bills and finance health, education and social services.

More recently the government stated its aim is to create a level playing field in the market in order to support and stimulate the small business sector.

In the current economic climate this seems entirely appropriate, particularly given our collective desire to live in a society that takes care of its people.

There is the added comfort of knowing that our general approach to supporting enterprise and attracting private sector investment is not unusual, as many other governments and jurisdictions follow a similar path.

So far so good; everything seems to make sense.

That is until we realise there is now a decision by government that means some larger businesses will pay a special levy to help smaller businesses. This raises a number of questions:

  • Is it now government policy that large businesses in some sectors will pay for small businesses in their sector?
  • Will government now apply the same logic to all sectors, so that all large businesses pay for all small businesses?
  • Does the levy mean the traditional environment where large and small businesses coexist and complement each other will be disrupted?
  • Has government considered the effects of such disruption and the associated unintended consequences?
  • Does the introduction of the levy mean government is still in favour of supporting enterprise but not all enterprises are created equal?

 SO, before we finish one year and start another let’s consider whether such a policy will create inequality in the marketplace and if so what are the possible consequences.

What do you think: Are all enterprises equal?

Leave your comments below.