5 things you should know about the new minister for business » SMEInsider

5 things you should know about the new minister for business

The Cabinet reshuffle this week saw some high profile names losing and moving posts. Among the changes was a appointment of Matthew Hancock to the post of minister of state for business and enterprise, supporting business secretary Vince Cable.

Hancock is MP for West Suffolk, but is a relative unknown in the upper echelons of the Tory party, so by means of an introduction, here’s the lowdown on the top five things you need to know about him:

1. He’s more ‘banking’ than ‘business’

After studying politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford, Hancock put in a brief stint at his family’s software company, Border Business Systems – his only experience of private enterprise. He then quickly moved on to work as an economist at the Bank of England.

2. He’s a supporter of apprenticeships

Hancock was one of the first MPs to take on an apprentice through Parliament’s first-ever apprentice school, The Parliamentary Academy. This government have already made apprentices a flagship part of their business policy, and with Hancock stepping up, this doesn’t look like changing.

3. He took two months’ paternity leave

He caused a bit of a stir among some business groups when he two months out after the birth of his third child in May 2013 – perhaps indicating that he’ll back more family-friendly legislation in the future.

4. He supports occupational pensions and raising VAT – but strongly opposes taxing bankers’ bonuses

Hancock’s voting record shows that he was strongly in favour of the new auto-enrolment pension system and measures to crack down on tax avoidance, but strongly opposed to taxes on mansions and bank bonuses.

5. He’s doesn’t like windfarms

Hancock has opposed the building of new turbines in his Suffolk constituency, saying that they would ruin the look of the area. He also wrote a letter to David Cameron in 2012 demanding that subsidies for onshore windfarms should be slashed.