Skip to main content
EconomyNationalNews and viewsParliamentPortsmouth

Rishi’s recession hammers small firms with 40,000 fewer businesses this year, Labour warns 

By 3 April 2024No Comments
Stephen Morgan MP has today warned that Rishi’s recession has ‘hammered’ growth, with the UK economy suffering a net loss of 40,000 businesses registered for VAT in the economy in 2023.

The Portsmouth MP has today warned that Rishi’s recession has ‘hammered’ growth, with the UK economy suffering a net loss of 40,000 businesses registered for VAT in the economy in 2023.

New analysis from Labour has shown that there were almost 40,000 fewer VAT registered businesses in 2023 compared to 2022, indicating a lack of growth and investment confidence from firms in every region in the country.

The city MP said that Rishi’s recession has hit small business in Portsmouth, with their potential being held back by soaring cost of living and eye-watering mortgage and rent payments. Mr Morgan has been meeting local businesses to hear their concerns.

London and the South East have seen the biggest drop in the number of businesses, with more than 10,000 fewer VAT registered businesses in London.

The analysis comes after statistics released last Thursday by the Office for National Statistics confirmed that Britain entered recession last year.

The IFS have also pointed to two years of falling GDP per capita and pushed back on the ideal that the recession was ‘technical’ or ‘mild.’

Labour is committed to securing the highest sustained growth in the G7 and last year announced their plan for small business, promising to crack down on the things holding firms back from what they can achieve including tackling late payments, reducing business rates and dealing with skills shortages.

Shadow Business Secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, began a small business roadshow across the country in December last year. Working with the British Chambers of Commerce to gather local business leaders, Labour’s roadshow has seen over a thousand businesses attend an event locally or sign up to Labour’s small business plan online.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:  

“The Conservatives’ economic mismanagement has cost Britain 40,000 businesses that could and should be growing our economy.

“Unfortunately, our city has not been immune to this trend, and we have seen the loss of many cherished small, independent businesses who simply haven’t been provided with the right economic environment to survive.

“I will continue to stand up for small businesses in Portsmouth by calling on the Government to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, scrap regressive business rates and stamp out late payments so SMEs have the opportunity to thrive”.

Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:

“Rishi’s recession is hitting businesses of all sizes. It’s getting harder and harder to grow, take on new staff or expand your operations if you are a business owner.  
“This week we laid out our plans for local communities to give them new powers over skills, enterprise, energy, planning, rejuvenating our high streets, and new powers to generate growth for every town and city. 
“Labour has a plan to back our small businesses making the changes they need on business rates, tackling late payments and getting smaller firms exporting abroad. Its clear business will only get the backing it needs to grow our economy under a Labour government.” 

Mr Morgan has taken a range of action to lobby on behalf of small businesses, including campaigning for levelling up funding for the city centre, working alongside small businesses to hear their concerns through regular roundtable events for local traders, and raising issues on the floor of the house with Ministers.

His ‘Support Local’ campaign showcases the contributions small and independent businesses make to the local economy.