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Monday, 19 April 2010

Like the Icelandic volcano, waiting quietly for the right moment and eager for maximum impact, the PM leader debates have exploded the political campaign into action. The debates have energised the campaign and mixed things up with some suggesting that this is no longer a two horse race, and that is certainly the suggestion from the polls taken over the weekend. The Poll of Polls now shows Conservatives on 35%, Labour 30%, Lib Dems 24% and others 11%. This translates into 261, 288, 72 and 29 seats respectively - still well into hung parliament territory.

With a busy week ahead of us in terms of official data, latest inflation figures out tomorrow, the Bank of England minutes and unemployment figures out Wednesday, public finance figures on Thursday and GDP figures from quarter 1 on Friday; the election campaign is heating up. If you want to know how this will affect your business, stay tuned this week.

A few announcements continue from the main parties, fleshing out details of their manifestos.

The Liberal Democrats have started the week with the launch of their financial plans for the economy in “A Fair and Sustainable Economy”. Announcing their plan to create jobs that last by stimulating a green, sustainable economy, the Lib Dems have outlined how jobs will be created. These include:
-Expanding offshore wind energy in the north, creating 12,000 jobs.
-An Eco-Cashback scheme, entitling people with £400 for energy efficient home improvements creating 8,000 new jobs.
-A School Insulation Programme - invest £400m in interest free loans for energy saving renovations – 9,600 jobs. We can expect more of the Lib Dem’s plans on how they wish to reconstruct the financial system tomorrow and Wednesday.

The Conservatives have also launched their Public Sector Manifesto which mainly outlines the Party’s plans to give public sector workers the chance to take over the services they deliver. Under this policy, power will be given to form co-operative enterprises with colleagues who can bid to takeover the services they deliver. These will be paid through outcomes-based contracts or according to their ability to attract users, like parents and patients.

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