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Hung parliament could destroy our businesses

PUBLISHED: 18:31 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 August 2010

BUSINESS chiefs have warned a hung parliament will be disastrous for the British economy and delay the recovery from the recession. Traders across Bromley borough claimed indecision brought by a nil-majority Government would hinder political progress.

BUSINESS chiefs have warned a hung parliament will be "disastrous" for the British economy and delay the recovery from the recession.

Traders across Bromley borough claimed indecision brought by a nil-majority Government would hinder political progress.

The prospect of a hung parliament looks increasingly likely as the polls close in on each other, with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg increasing in popularity since the Presidential-style television debates, the last of which is due to be aired tonight (Thursday).

Estate agent Andrew Kingsley, 46, who owns a property shop in Bromley Road, Beckenham, said: "It is not good news. Anything that leads to indecision, which it will, is not good for the markets whether that's the stock markets or the housing market. It will lead people thinking of setting up business here to say 'Oh look at England, they can't get their house in order, let's go elsewhere.'"

Business owners fear both the public and private sectors will suffer if there is no outright winner. Times business columnist Daphne Clifton, vice president of the South East Chamber of Commerce which represents businesses across Bromley borough, said: "We want whatever is best for business but a hung parliament is not. The Chamber is apolitical and we want good, strong decisions from a Government that will be good for local businesses and aid them in local, European and global growth opportunities."

If no party has an outright majority it makes it more difficult to pass bills as MPs come to loggerheads over potential laws. Critics say it will lead to more undemocratic back-door dealing between politicians which will be bad for the electorate.

David Amos, Director of Pitman Training, in East Street, Bromley said: "It's vital for us to know that the government of the day is going to be working on bettering the skills of the nation as we will be battling away at that. continued on page 3

"If they don't concentrate on that area because they are too busy arguing without a joined-up strategy then that will be bad."

Michael Bates, owner of Biggin Hill metal in Jail Lane, Biggin Hill, said: "I don't think there is going to be such a thing, I don't want to see a hung parliament, nobody would ever be able to get policies sorted out properly."

Shortlands businessman George Taylor, 57, added: "A hung parliament would be a disaster for the economy. Nobody is making any decisions at the moment. The public sector is holding back on any projects because they don't know if the incoming government will give them any funding. It is very worrying."

Asked if he would be pleased with Nick Clegg as chancellor in a coalition government, management consultant, Barry Tuckwood, of Lower Camden, Chislehurst said: "I would like him to have his say but that doesn't mean I would like to see him in Number 11. It would lead to the kind of intense friction we saw between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

"The major issue for a hung parliament is how they will agree funding for all of Uk business, both private and public."

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that 65 per cent of 300 firms it polled were either "concerned" or "very concerned" about having no clear winner.

Director-general of the BCC David Frost, said: "With our economy still fragile and the public finances in a dire state, the overwhelming concern is whether a hung parliament will provide decisive action around the UK's unsustainable deficit."

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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