BCC SURVEY REVEALS DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COALITION PARTIES ON KEY BUSINESS ISSUES
As the Liberal Democrat party conference convenes in Liverpool, the British Chambers of Commerce has today (Monday) published results from a survey of sitting Members of Parliament that suggest some divisions between the Coalition’s senior and junior partners on top business concerns.
When it comes to helping companies to create jobs and aid the UK’s fragile economic recovery, the ComRes-conducted survey found a big divergence between the two Coalition parties. Whereas 87% of Conservative MPs surveyed felt that the balance of employment law had shifted too far towards the employee, to the detriment of the employer, fully 71% of Liberal Democrats polled disagreed – a profound difference of view on an issue that businesses say is stopping them from taking on more staff.
Whereas 62% of Conservatives were in favour of appointing a full-time trade minister to ‘bang the drum’ for British companies overseas, 50% of Liberal Democrats surveyed felt such a minister was not necessary – a result that makes interesting reading for Stephen Green, due to join the Government on 1st January in precisely that role.
And on infrastructure investment, a key business priority ahead of next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review, there are similarly wide disagreements between the Coalition parties. 70% of Liberal Democrat MPs surveyed want spending on infrastructure to rise or remain constant in real terms – a view strongly shared by business leaders – while only 27% of Conservatives agree.