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Thursday, 8 April 2010

2010 Election Update

With the Election campaign now underway two items in the news so far stand out as themes Greater Manchester Chamber has been lobbying on for our members.

Update on the National Insurance Debate

The proposed increase in Employers' National Insurance contributions continues to be a hot topic for this election campaign, with many of today’s newspapers dominated by how businesses will be affected should the increase be introduced. The Chamber has continuously campaigned against this increase since the 2008 Pre-Budget report and 75% of respondents to our Quarterly Economic Survey for the first quarter of 2010 are rethinking their recruitment plans as a result. Dr. Brian Sloan, Head of Business and Economic Policy said, “This proposed policy is a tax on jobs and will deprive businesses across the Greater Manchester area of £120m each year that might have otherwise been used for investment to support the recovery and create much needed jobs.”

The Conservatives are proposing that they would reduce the amount of tax collected from both businesses and employees by raising the threshold at which the additional rate of NICs applies.

50p landline tax dropped

The Chamber welcomes this news that the Government, under pressure from the opposition has amended the Finance bill and dropped the 50p landline tax it was proposing to fund super fast broadband.

Dr. Brian Sloan, Head of Business and Economic Policy said "The Chamber recognises that revenues need to be raised for investment in high speed broadband, but we feel that this ill conceived idea could have a costly impact on many businesses, that have multiple lines for their business as this is a tax on each line per month. In addition to this many businesses already pay a premium for improved broadband connectivity to their providers, so it is unfair to charge them a tax to provide infrastructure that they are already paying for."

Both main parties remain committed to improving broadband infrastructure in the country. The Chamber’s Digital Infrastructure Group has been campaigning extensively on this issue and successfully held an event last month in Stockport, attended by over 35 businesses, highlighting the need for improved broadband speeds. If digital infrastructure and broadband connectivity is a problem for your business please contact

Husting Events

This is your opportunity to pose your questions directly to the prospective parliamentary candidates in your local areas. We lobby on your behalf, but this gives you immediate feedback on how the main parties stand on the issues that affect you most. Visit our election page for details of the events and other Election information for Greater Manchester.

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