The people of Britain have just hours left to cast their votes in the most unpredictable General Election in decades. And with turnout looking like being the biggest at an election since 2010, it seems business owners are set to have a telling impact on the outcome.
According to new research by TaxAssist Accountants, 90% of business owners planned to use their vote today, despite more than two thirds of SME owners saying that the pre-election debates did not address the key issues for small businesses. More than half of SME leaders held tax simplification as a top priority and this was closely followed by the economy, with 49% of business owners placing the upmost importance on the nation’s purse strings.
It also seems that the time-old advice to never trust a politician has been engrained in individuals across the nation, as the survey revealed that 78% of business owners did not trust the party leaders. The main reason stated for distrust in SME owners was a lack of faith in politicians delivering on their promises when trying to woo voters. Party leaders should review their debating skills too, if TaxAssist’s research is anything to go by, as nearly 62% of business leaders felt that the quality of political debating had decreased over the years.
“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,” said Karl Sandall, chief executive of TaxAssist Accountants.
“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.”
Needless to say, it should become clear tomorrow which party managed to win the business vote this time around.