Matthew Hancock MP was joined by Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Halifax Philip Allott during a tour of the Metaldyne factory on Parkinson Lane, Halifax.
listen to ‘Episode 02: Business and Economy Minister speaks about red tape, job security and the living wage’ on audioBoom
Mr Hancock said he wanted to speak to as many businesses as possible to find out what their main concerns were and how he could best serve them as a Minister.
He said: “Businesses around the country, and especially in Yorkshire, feel that we’ve got a plan and we’re moving in the right direction.
“They want to see less red tape and action to make it easier to employ people,” he said.
“These are things that we’ve taken some action on already - we’ve reduced the burden of red tape, but we still know that there is more to do.
“Coming from a small business background myself, I know that the way to help businesses grow and employ people is by listening to them, finding out what the burdens are and try to lighten them.”
Mr Hancock made no commitment to backing the campaign for businesses to pay employees the living wage, but said where businesses can afford to pay it they should.
“After all, what is the purpose of this economic recovery?” he said.
“The purpose of it is that more people have jobs and can provide for themselves and their families, and that people are better paid and we have a more prosperous nation - that’s ultimately why I came into politics.”
Mr Allott said: “When I invited the Minister to come to Halifax, one the things I wanted to focus on was jobs.
“We can account for at least 500 new jobs in Halifax - if people have jobs we have economic prosperity - it’s good for the country and it’s good for individuals.”