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

Monday, 26 April 2010

Election Update



By Anna Purdue
Policy Researcher

With the latest polls still showing no clear front-runner in the election race, concerns amongst businesses have heightened at the prospect of a hung parliament after May 6th. In their monthly survey released today, the BCC asked its members to express their thoughts on how a hung parliament would affect their business, 65% responded stating that they were either “concerned” or “very concerned” about not having a majority government in power. Businesses fear that a hung parliament’s disagreements on action to tackle the deficit will result in a lack of clarity regarding which areas will be affected, running the risk of damaging the economy and businesses further.

In other news, the EU has fuelled already increasing speculation that VAT hikes are just around the corner by confirming that the UK VAT rate is one of the lowest in the European Union. The UK’s standard VAT rate of 17.5% falls short of the EU average of 20%, providing plenty of scope for a possible increase in the near future to cope with the huge debt burden that the newly-elected government needs to address.

With this week’s Leaders’ Debate tackling the thorny issue of the economy will the bubble burst over one of the personalities? The Presidential-style debates have dominated the headlines and little policy detail has been revealed. It’s all to play for and with only ten full days of campaigning left before the polls open it could go any way, will this final debate clarify future policy or the direction of the electorate? It will be a night to remember.

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