Economic stability tops firms’ election wish list

Maintaining economic stability is the top election priority of UK business owners, according to a poll by accountancy and business advisory firm Moore and Smalley.

40 per cent of business owners surveyed by Moore and Smalley said that offering certainty over the economic recovery would be an election vote winner for them.

A third (33 per cent) of business owners said they would like to see tax cuts or tax simplification, including a cut in the rate of VAT.

Just over a tenth (13 per cent) of business owners would vote for a party pledging significant investment in skills and training or employment incentives. The same number would vote for a cut to business rates.

Damian Walmsley, partner at Moore and Smalley, said: “Following the launch of the main political parties’ manifestos it is interesting to note that the majority of business owners would sacrifice any radical business measures in order to secure economic stability.

“This is borne out by our survey and also anecdotally through our conversations with clients and professional contacts. Whichever party gets into power, there’s a definite feeling among the business community that they don’t want to see any major changes to fiscal or monetary policy that could blow the economy off course.”

Only 1 per cent of respondents to the survey said that certainty over Britain’s membership of the EU was their top election priority. Damian added: “Our membership of the EU has become a key election issue, with the Conservatives promising an in or out referendum and UKIP also pledging to take power away from Europe. This is an issue that could cause vast political and economic upheaval and I’m surprised it’s not higher up the agenda of the business owners who responded to our poll. However, it would seem that wider economic certainty is more of a priority.”