April 22nd, 2015
As May 7th looms ever closer, the polls remain fiercely contested with no clear leader in sight. Over the past two weeks each party has outlined their individual manifesto for election, in a bid to sway the minds of the voting public. On outlining their own key commitments in the event a successful election campaign, the Liberal Democrats chose to outline further details on their “Countryside Charter.”
On the campaign trail in Cornwall yesterday, Nick Clegg confirmed that the Lib Dems would pass the power to local councils to charge up to 200 per cent council tax for second residential properties, in efforts to curb untenanted property and to aid locals in securing a property, where previously they may have been priced out of the market. The party also backed this plan by unveiling the guarantee to build 300,000 new homes, and to implement a new “Rent to Own” scheme, in a bid to assist those struggling to secure a home.
During his speech, Clegg stated: “Rural areas play a large part in Britain’s economy with the rural economy worth £210bn. The Liberal Democrats want to unlock this potential so rural areas and the rest of the UK can thrive. In order to prosper, rural areas need good local services, appropriate infrastructure and more housing.
“Only the Liberal Democrats will create a stronger economy and fairer society where everyone and every part of the UK can reach its full potential.”
In the city, major investment banks have continued to throw their weight behind the continuation of a Conservative majority, citing fears that a Labour government would be anti-business as the reason for this support. The US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, advised investors yesterday that a Labour government could be detrimental to economic growth, noting that policies to increase taxes and to tackle zero-hour contracts as warning signs that profits would dwindle under Ed Miliband’s leadership.
Part of the release provided by Goldman Sachs to its investors referenced the potential influence of the SNP, if a coalition partnership emerged between the Scottish party and Labour. It suggested that, “Concerns are likely to emerge that reliance on the SNP would pull the Labour government away from the centre to the left of the political spectrum, as well as raising the spectre of distributional policies favouring Scotland at the expense of the UK as a whole.”
During an interview with the Financial Times, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London and Conservative politician, suggested that Miliband was “the most left-wing Labour leader since Michael Foot.” Johnson was typically vocal in his views, stating in reference to Mr Miliband that “He has a crazed desire to punish bankers and express his hostility to what he sees as casino capitalism.”
In defence of his party’s stance on business, the shadow chief secretary to the treasury for Labour, Chris Leslie, said: “Labour is pro-business, but not business as usual. We want more competition in banking, a British Investment Bank to boost lending and action to tackle tax avoidance. Financial services are an important part of our economy, and the big threat to the City and our economy is a re-elected Tory government taking Britain out of the EU.”
Article By: Simon Butler, Senior Mortgage Consultant at Contractor Mortgages Made Easy
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