Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A businessman's view of the coalition

Joe Zammit-Lucia commented recently on Huffington Post:

"As a British business person and entrepreneur, I have always felt that the Conservative Party was my natural political home. I never gave it much thought. [...] Now my business interests are largely back in the UK and we are in an election year - an election year with more possible outcomes than in any of my previous experiences. I have decided for the first time to throw my support - and my vote - behind the Liberal Democrats."

He explained:
"Lib Dem led policies have also been positive for business. From the highly successful apprenticeship scheme to the British Business Bank and the Green Investment Bank; the emphasis on spreading prosperity throughout the country through decentralisation initiatives such as the Regional Growth Fund, City Deals and Local Growth Deals; the moderating influence on legislation such as the Snooper's Charter which, if passed in its original extreme form, would not only have representing an attack on liberal and democratic values but would have been damaging to the UK as a base for the booming digital economy (damage that will only be surpassed by Mr Cameron's daft idea of banning end to end encryption of digital data). All these policies were a direct result of having the Lib Dems in government."

It was also a defensive move:
"The Chairman of a FTSE 100 company was recently quoted as saying of the two main parties 'One party hates Europe; the other party hates business. It is a worrying state of affairs.' It is indeed. If we look at the possible outcomes of the upcoming election, any outcome that does not involve a coalition with the Lib Dems would be nothing short of disastrous for UK Business.

"A slim conservative majority (a large majority is out of the question) would put the government at the mercy of the party's loony fringe. We would almost certainly exit the EU and the business of government would be held hostage by a few MPs with extreme views (and there are plenty enough of those). Business's ability to import the skills it so desperately needs would be severely restricted. The digital economy will likely be damaged further and Scotland will almost certainly secede."

His conclusion: "should the upcoming election produce an outcome that is anything other than a stable, two-party coalition that includes the moderating influence and the liberal, decentralising, internationalist values represented by the Lib Dems, the consequences for UK business and, as a result, the whole country, would range from the bad to the disastrous."

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