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Traders' disaster fears over hung parliament

PUBLISHED: 15:35 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:53 25 August 2010

BUSINESS owners have warned a hung parliament will be disastrous for the British economy delaying the recovery from the crippling recession. Traders across Bexley claim indecision brought by a nil majority government would lead to lack of action on the e

BUSINESS owners have warned a hung parliament will be disastrous for the British economy delaying the recovery from the crippling recession.

Traders across Bexley claim indecision brought by a nil majority government would lead to lack of action on the economy and would leave the markets unsteady, making banks even more unlikely to lend.

The prospect of a hung parliament looks increasingly unlikely as the polls tighten, with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg increasing in popularity since the Presidential style debates, the last of which is due to be aired tonight.

Owner of Capital Estate agents in Halfway Street, Sidcup, for 15 years, Rob Tancred, said: "A hung parliament will not do business any good.

"It will take the markets about six months to a year to work out what is going on. Everyone is looking to see if another crash is on the horizon, especially when you see what is going on in Greece and Portugal.

"Banks lending depend on the markets - it is a vicious cycle that can be stopped quickly if they don't like a hang parliament, especially if the Liberal Democrats are part of it that as they are an unknown entity.

"Even though I think it will be a problem, we don't know what a hung parliament will bring. The policies of the Tories and Labour are not a million miles apart. We will have to suck it and see." London director of the Federation of Small Businesses and property developer Tony Petim, who has worked in Bexley, said: "A hung parliament is going to be an awful situation.

"The worst kind of decision is indecision and no action. Everything will be decided in back rooms and through compromises. And sometimes compromises result in doing nothing. It is hard to get consistency in terms of decisions.

"It means a waste of public money as there will need to be policy research for two different sets of proposals.

"I am now looking abroad to France to do business as it is more stable and it is easier to access money."

Property maintenance worker Lauren Merrell of Gateway 24, in Wellington Parade, Blackfen Road, Sidcup, said: "It is a bit hit and miss. We just don't know what is going to happen. All politicians lie and don't deliver what they say they will so it won't make a difference."

Daphne Clifton, vice president of the South East London Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses across Bexley and Greenwich, 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."

However Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Bexleyheath and Crayford Karelia Scott who has her own business, said she thought a hung parliament would be beneficial to the economy. She added: "Although a number of people have been scare-mongering about the effects of a hung parliament for self-interested reasons, more responsible and objective organisations such as the Financial Times have reported that there is no evidence that it will be harmful to the UK.

"Many European parliaments function this way. A leading investment analyst at Moody's Investor Service said that a hung parliament would be 'positive' because it would 'mean a more complete mandate' for difficult economic times.

"A coalition government would mean government by consensus which is a far more democratic method of government than the system we have now. We need to get into the 21st century in politics in Britain which means a government which is representative of the vote."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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