Two ex-bankers hired to sign off contractor policies

Two former City professionals who were educated at state schools before successfully working in London’s private sector will be the face of government policies that affect contractors.

Sajid Javid, newly appointed as Business Secretary, and Greg Hands, newly appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, also both worked in New York as part of their careers in banking.

Mr Javid, who replaces Vince Cable, was educated outside the private sector near his home town of Bristol, prior to graduating from Exeter University, where he studied Economics and Politics.

Mr Hands, who replaces Danny Alexander but won’t have full Cabinet membership like Mr Alexander did, went to his local grammar school, before going on to read History at Cambridge University.

The two men, both of whom took hefty pay cuts to enter politics (a reported 98% cut for Mr Javid), will help the Tories in their new bid to reclaim the working people’s vote, in line with the PM’s ‘one nation’ aspiration.

The government is also likely to hold them up as examples to the young -- multilingual Mr Hands went on to work at three different financial firms in eight years, and Mr Javid became Deutsche Bank AG’s senior managing director.

Fortunately for contractors, who will be on the receiving end of his department’s policies, Mr Javid “cares passionately about improving the UK’s poor payment culture,” says contractor body IPSE, which has engaged with him in the past.

“Mr Javid has consistently shown an understanding and appreciation of the value of small businesses,” reassured Chris Bryce, the contractor body’s chief executive.

He added: “We eagerly anticipate the new Business Secretary bringing forward an agenda that inspires confidence in the business community.”

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, that community says the key priority of the new government – and its ministers -- should be to reduce the regulatory burden on business.

Simplifying the tax system should be a second but not too distant priority, a FSB poll found, ahead of reforming business rates and boosting young people’s employability.

Also when asked, just over half of the small businesses felt positive about what the new government will do for enterprise, but more than a quarter said they were ‘unconfident’ or ‘very unconfident.’

“Ministers will have to move quickly to demonstrate that they will truly do all they can to back small business,” the federation warned. “[This poll] sends a very clear message on what small businesses want from the new government – a supportive, light-touch tax and regulatory environment”.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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