A Warwickshire business boss has called for more policy and less ‘Punch and Judy’ after two political heavyweights slugged it out at a recent industry event.
Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, attended the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference in London on behalf of members in the region.
The bill of speakers included a range of business figures such as Lord Sugar but the headlines following the event were dominated by the contest between the Conservatives’ Ken Clarke and Labour’s Lord Mandelson.
But during an engaging 45-minute spar, few policies on how to tackle the public deficit emerged and neither could commit to the Chamber’s call of scrapping the proposed one per cent rise in employer National Insurance Contributions.
Ms Bennett said: “As pure theatre, it was fascinating to see. They have very different styles and it made for a very good contest.
“But businesses are not looking for entertainment or Punch and Judy from our politicians in the run up to the election, we are very keen to see some clear policies on how they plan to get the economy moving again.
“We have just emerged from the longest recession on record and business will have to be at the forefront of the recovery – more so than at any other point.
“Clear plans on how to support business by cutting red tape, tax burden and showing genuine plans to cut the deficit are a must in the run up to the election.
“As entertaining as they might be, good knock-about exchanges are not what business or – indeed the whole country – want to see.
“The event as a whole was fascinating with a range of key speakers from business and politics but we all realise that much depends on the result of a general election as to which direction the country takes in the second half of the year.”