The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Election Update

By Sana Nabi

Liberal Democrats Launch Their Party Manifesto for Consumers

The Liberal Democrats party has today released their consumer manifesto entitled “People Power: A Manifesto For Consumers”. Whilst the document lacks detail, the Chamber welcomes the policy reducing the time banks take processing cheques and online payments. This is not only burdensome for consumers but can also cause small business members considerable problems with cash-flow.

We also welcome the proposals for a local competition test for all planning applications for new retail developments. In principle this may go some way to preserving the viability of local town centres and smaller local retailers by enhancing competition.

Members Meet Decision-Makers

Members of Greater Manchester Chamber met with the Minister for the north west and the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas MP this morning, at the Bower Hotel, Chadderton, to address the concerns of local businesses.

Amongst the issues discussed were the planned increase in National Insurance contributions, bank lending and late payment to subcontract firms. Dr. Brian Sloan, Head of Business and Economic Policy at the Chamber, attended the meeting and said: “There was a useful exchange of ideas and views. Phil fed back to the group on issues impacting on businesses in Greater Manchester that he has discussed directly with Lord Mandelson. Phil also told the group that engagement with Chamber members was very important to his work, as this gave him practical examples to discuss with civil servants that made a real difference.”

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is holding a number of local events with existing MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates over the next two weeks. Members are being encouraged to take this opportunity to meet with the decision-makers that will form the next government, and forge relationships for the future. The events are free to attend and more information can be found at

A Hung Parliament Looming?

After just a few days of electioneering the pollsters have been hard at work. Sky News’ Poll of Polls puts the parties in the following positions:

Conservatives, 38%
Labour, 31%
Liberal Democrats, 20%
Other 11%

If this was replicated at the General Election the number of seats each party would have would be Conservatives, 299; Labour, 270 Liberal Democrats, 52; Other 29. This would result in a hung parliament.

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