Election 2015: Conservatives pledge to raise central government spend with SMEs to one-third

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
14 April 2015

The Conservative Party has promised to raise the target for the proportion of central government spend going to SMEs to one-third.

In their manifesto, launched today by prime minister David Cameron, the party said it would “strengthen the prompt payment code and ensure that all major government suppliers sign up”.

The Conservatives also said they would establish a new Small Business Conciliation Service “to mediate in disputes, especially over late payment”.

The manifesto said the party had “pioneered ways to deliver high-quality public services, including through getting the voluntary sector more involved” and it would encourage the growth of public sector mutuals with a “right to mutualise” within the public sector.

“We have reduced the cost of government, by selling empty buildings, managing big projects better, shrinking the civil service, reforming pensions, moving more services online, and improving contracting. We plan a further £10 billion annual savings by 2017/18 and £15 to £20 billion in 2019/20,” said the manifesto.

The Conservatives said they would “push for country of origin labelling in Europe” and “champion our new Groceries Code Adjudicator, so farmers receive a fair deal from the supermarkets”.

The party will also “seek value for money in defence procurement, recognising the important contribution that the UK defence industry makes to our prosperity”.

In a foreword Cameron said: “Britain is now one of the fastest growing major economies in the world. We are getting our national finances back under control. We have halved our deficit as a share of our economy. More people are in work than ever before. Britain is back on its feet, strong and growing stronger every day.”

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