Cancelling the National Insurance contributions rise and extending the Birmingham International Airport runway feature on a General Election manifesto drawn up by business leaders in the city.

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry has delivered a list of seven priorities ahead of the country going to the polls.

And representatives from businesses across the region will be able to quiz MPs from the three biggest parties at a debate organised by the chamber.

Lorely Burt (Solihull, Liberal Democrat), Caroline Spelman (Meriden, Conservative) and Gisela Stuart (Edgbaston, Labour) will be part of the free event at the Lakeside Conference Centre at Aston University on Friday, April 16.

BCI head of policy Katie Teasdale said: “This major interactive business event offers the chance to hear from leading members of parliament debate what their party will do for business should they be elected.”

The chamber has launched its 2010 General Election Manifesto, entitled Delivering For Birmingham And Solihull Businesses, in advance of the debate. Issues include:

* Cancellation of the one per cent rise in National Insurance contributions.

* Support for employers to retain apprentices and a reduction in the bureaucracy associated with hiring new apprentices.

* Improvements to skills support to ensure it is demand-led and really meets the needs of local businesses.

* Extension of the runway at Birmingham International Airport.

* Development of a high speed rail network serving both Birmingham city centre and Birmingham International Station.

* Innovative funding mechanisms for crucial infrastructure development.

* Expansion of Quick Wins – encouraging businesses to submit suggestions of places on the roads – to reduce congestion.

Ms Teasdale added: “It also urges all political parties to work with the chamber to identify public sector efficiencies and makes clear the need to protect investment in vital business support services, including UKTI which helps businesses in our region to export all over the world.”

The debate, sponsored by Aston University, will begin at 5.15pm and will be followed by a buffet.

To register visit and for details email or call 0121 450 4204.