Writing in today’s Sunday Times, Chris Grayling criticises the government’s record and sets out some of the measures the Conservatives would take to encourage those who lose their jobs to start businesses of their own. The benefit would extend beyond them – the overall economy could be lifted with an "army of entrepreneurs". In the key paragraphs on the Conservative proposals, Grayling writes:
"We want a programme that empowers an army of “job makers” for the future, that helps create 20,000 new businesses a year and with them many thousands more new jobs.
"The programme would help people who have been made redundant and have been out of work for six months and have a clear idea for a business. They would get Dragons’ Den-style support from private sector specialists, helping assess ideas, offering advice on market research, business planning and how to get things going. Those specialists would be paid for that support when the business was established and the claimant was no longer dependent on benefits.
"The entrepreneurs would continue to receive jobseeker’s allowance for up to six months while getting their business off the ground. It takes that long to do your first deal and get the money paid.
"Every business start-up has a cost, and if you’re on the dole you can’t easily afford to buy basic equipment. At the moment the only start-up cash available from the “new deal” for unemployed people trying to start a business is £400. We don’t think that’s nearly enough, so we’ll give the business start-up specialists the ability to fund costs of up to £2,500, and then reclaim the money from the benefits saved once the business is up and running."