Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 14:44 UK

A hung Parliament's impact on business: Your views

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According to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), firms are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential impact on their business of a hung parliament after the election.

The BCC found that 65% of 300 businesses it polled were either "concerned" or "very concerned" about the prospect of no clear winner, while some 13% of firms thought that outcome would be "a good thing".

BBC News website readers in the business field have been considering what a hung parliament could mean for the economy.

DUNCAN BARNES, SURREY

There are minute signs of recovery, but a hung parliament would snuff them out overnight.

I'm a one-man business in music retail, and business has been dire for the last couple of years.

Duncan Barnes, 101 Records
When there was a hung parliament in the 70s, there were months of stagnation
Duncan Barnes

The needs of the country would go on the back burner as the politicians bickered and horse-traded to feather their own nests; a hung parliament would be a disaster that would leave us in the same financial state as Greece. It would be difficult to see a mandate pushed through of any significance if there is a hung parliament.

I remember when there was a hung parliament in the 70s. There were months of stagnation and the political situation was just a mess. The economy was in better shape than now but it was not great.

There needs to be a decisive victory, and it almost doesn't matter which political party wins. If there is a definite winner then the party can get on with the job straight way.

We need to see some substantial growth this year, but if there is a political stalemate then it will not happen.

I really think it should be the law for everyone to vote.

BEN BURNSIDE, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Ben Burnside

In the event of a hung parliament, some credit rating agencies may downgrade the UK AAA credit rating.

This in turn will make it harder for the government to raise money to service our national debt, leading to a devaluation of sterling.

I am in retail agricultural electronics and my business is totally reliant on being able to import from the Eurozone. We do most of our business in the UK but we also sell equipment around the world.

Any further fall in the value of sterling against the Euro would be disastrous for my business as we will not be able to be competitive.

At the moment, people are not buying in the UK and since last autumn, business has been quiet.

We have to buy our stock in Euros and we check the exchange of the pound against the Euro on a daily basis.

There cannot be failing confidence in the UK. There needs to be a clear plan as other countries need to see that the UK is taking decisive action.

The prospect of a hung parliament is extremely worrying for me and could result in the failure of my business.

SEBASTIAN KEIBEK, CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Having been an entrepreneur and advisor to businesses in the Netherlands for decades, and now living in the UK, I am not worried about a hung Parliament.

The Netherlands has one of the most purely proportional-representational systems in Europe, and governments are always coalitions.

Hung parliaments in the Netherlands (and the same is true for Germany) ensure sound financial planning
Sebastian Keibek

Yet, in general, they are stable, and they have been able to keep public finances in order (in fact, significantly better than in the UK).

Because parties know they will have to form a coalition government after elections, they are forced to be sensible in their economic plans, as otherwise they disqualify themselves for government.

Furthermore, and very different from the UK, each new government starts with making firm agreements on what economic policy is going to be, how budgets are going to develop, etc. instead of the 'we will see as we go along' approach that seems to prevail in the UK.

In other words, hung parliaments in the Netherlands (and the same is true for Germany) ensure sound financial planning, helping to provide rather than undermine economic stability.

There is one caveat, of course. Will the Tories or Labour, unaccustomed to making compromises, be sufficiently constructive to make it work with the Liberal Democrats?

TAMARA CODY-BOUTCHER, SOMERSET
Tamara Cody-Boutcher

I run a business and would prefer a hung parliament.

I work in IT marketing focussing on accommodation. I have been busy as people have to advertise their business.

I think the economy is too much for any one party to take on. I think think things will become difficult.

If the Conservatives win, they will need to make unpopular decisions, which will likely result in them being voted out of office in the next election.

I am convinced when the jobs axe starts to fall on the public-sector, civil unrest and industrial strife are almost bound to follow.

If Labour wins, our credit rating may get in to trouble, and business will be dire as confidence ebbs.

So I think it will be better for the political parties to form a coalition, and Vince Cable is the best candidate for chancellor.

A hung parliament should also result in electoral reform.



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