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The 2015 General Election: Energy & Business Part II

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this series are entirely those of your correspondent.


Speaking to owners of businesses of every hue recently a common theme has been that “things won’t return to normal until after the election”.

Judging by the last few weeks the months ahead to May are unlikely to be the most enjoyable of the year for UK business.

Fresh from Miliband’s whirling dervish impression with regards scattergun anti-business rhetoric some solace could have been expected from the Conservative party, unfortunately that too has been in short supply.

It had started well with Cameron’s rousing speech to the British Chambers of Commerce Conference and the Tory commitment to finding “£10bn worth of business regulation to cut in the next five years”

With Matthew Hancock, the business minister, saying:

“A future Conservative government will ramp up our efforts to tackle stubborn regulations across a broader range of sectors.

“Healthy businesses are the backbone of a strong economy and our plan for red tape will help create more jobs and make sure Britain is better off.”

A Tory promise which is forecast to save every business in the UK an average of £2,000 by 2020.

So far so good.

And then.

Like a moth to a populist light in the dead of night David Cameron undid his strong work at the very same conference claiming:

“Put simply — it’s time Britain had a pay rise”

“[Economic] conditions have not been this good for a long time. Now that your costs are falling and it’s cheaper to do business, I’m confident that more businesses will pass on that good economic news to their workers, in rising pay cheques and higher earnings.”

In utterly pointless pre election rhetoric challenged only by Miliband’s anti-business tirades, Cameron needlessly claimed:

“For us business is not a conspiracy of runaway profits, depressed wages, inequality and unfairness.

“It is the best generator of growth, wealth, work and opportunity there is.”

Of course it is. Seriously.

Quickly realising the folly of another ill-thought through pre election posture, Downing Street addressed accusations that the Tories were looking to run the economy “by diktat”.

Except that is exactly what it looks like from here.

If we can’t trust the traditional party of business to understand the vagaries, variances and value that businesses of all shape, sizes and sector bring to the UK economy and the very different market pressures each faces then we really in for dark times ahead.

Where once tireless business owners could look for solace, Cameron’s latest populist crusade, seemingly slams another door in their face.

Engine room of the UK economy? Not if you ask the politicians.


MP 16/2/15