SMEs feel direct issues haven't been addressed pre-election

6th May 2015 | News

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of small business owners believe the key issues important to small businesses have not been addressed in the pre-election debate, according to a recent survey of more than 52,000 SMEs in the UK.

The report, conducted by TaxAssist Accountants, found that almost 70 per cent of UK small firms believe politicians are simply not talking about the issues pertinent to them in a major thumbs down to politicians of all parties.

More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of SMEs surveyed did not trust politicians to follow through on their pre-election promises, while nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) believe the quality of political debating on the whole has declined in recent years.

Importantly, 91 per cent of small business owners surveyed confirmed they would be exercising their right to vote when the polling stations open on Thursday morning, with only three per cent opting not to vote.

Karl Sandall, chief executive, TaxAssist Accountants, said: “Small businesses who responded to our survey were decidedly unimpressed with the quality of the debate in the run-up to the election and the vast majority did not feel that any politicians were addressing the issues which mattered most to them.

“More than half (51 per cent) said tax simplification was their top priority, closely followed by the economy (49 per cent) and lowering the costs of doing business (45 per cent), but said they were less than confident that promises made during the election campaign would be kept, with nearly 79 per cent saying they wouldn’t be followed through and 14 per cent saying they were not sure.

“The Institute of Fiscal Studies is right to say that none of the parties have provided anything like full details of their financial plans and whoever wins on Thursday has a long way to go to gain the trust of the small business sector.

“With small and medium sized firms in the UK employing over 15 million people, it is a voter base they neglect at their peril.”

For an in-depth round-up of the results of our General Election 2015 Small Business Survey click here.