Small Firms Cant Afford a Period of political horse-trading
Business groups have warned that the uncertainty of a hung parliament will jeopardise the ability of small firms to plan ahead, and stressed that they can’t afford a period of political horse-trading.
With the election result remaining uncertain and no party winning enough seats to form an overall majority, the British Chambers of Commerce’s (BBC) director of policy, Dr Adam Marshall, said businesses are concerned how a hung parliament could affect the business environment.
“The business community expects the parties to put political horse-trading to one side and put the UK economy at the heart of their thinking,” he said. “Strong leadership and consensus are required to deal with the serious threats still facing the economy.”
Commenting on the Greek economy’s debt crisis, Marshall added:
“This week’s lesson from the eurozone is that we must avoid a crisis of confidence at all costs.”
“British businesses want to see a speedy resolution to political negotiations, the formation of a Government and an agreed policy of putting the economy first.”
Forum of Private Business (FPB) chief executive, Phil Orford, said he had hoped that one party would win an overall majority in order to secure a swift economic recovery.
“I expect many smaller businesses will be disappointed that the election has resulted in a hung parliament.”
“However, the outcome can’t be changed so it’s vital that the newly elected MPs put aside party politics and work together to come up with a credible system of governance.”
National Federation of Enterprise Agencies chief executive, George Derbyshire, agreed that the parties needed to put down there differences and focus on ensuring the economy recovers.
“My fear is that we have another election in November.”
According to self-employed web designer Helen Davies of Brownhound, who has run her own business for ten years, if there had been a stronger election result there would have been a feeling of renewed energy and confidence.
“There’s been an overwhelming lack of confidence and negativity over the last 18 months,” she said. “It really felt like this election could be a shake-up and a clean sweep and that’s not happened.”
Davies added that a hung parliament may mean that nothing will get done at all.
“On the one hand you think maybe things can be done, but you might also have stasis. And if the markets take fright it could trickle down and affect savings and pensions. I don’t think we have the culture to have a balanced parliament.
“Politicians should not delay, not argue and just get on with it. They must not make things any harder through mudslinging — we all know there is a massive financial black hole to deal with.”