Late payment and tax relief the big issues in Alexander Daniels pre-election survey
Research carried out by the recruitment firm, which has offices in Birmingham and Bristol, also found overwhelming support for the UK’s continued membership of the EU – with none of the survey respondents supporting outright withdrawal.
The survey also shows the business “vote” to be firmly behind the Conservatives ahead of the general election.
Firms across a range of sectors named late payment as being the biggest challenge they had faced over the past five years, being cited by 36 per cent, followed by skills shortages (27 per cent).
“Late payment probably causes business owners more sleepless nights than anything else,” says Nick Pearce, director at Alexander Daniels.
“Recent figures showed that more than three-quarters of businesses are being forced to wait at least a month beyond their agreed contract terms before getting paid – hitting cash flow just as the UK economy emerges into full recovery.
“Although the current Government has made some attempts to ease the problem it clearly remains a major headache, along with long-standing skills shortages and the dearth of high quality people in the labour market.”
When asked which single measure would they most like to see introduced by the next government after 7th May, a third highlighted increased tax relief on investment, closely followed by reform of the UK’s complex tax system and improvements to road, rail and air infrastructure.
With a referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the EU potentially in the offing, the survey asked business owners for their views. It showed unanimous support for the UK continuing to remain part of the EU, but with 69 per cent supporting a re-negotiation of our terms of membership.
Meanwhile some 82 per cent of firms said that their business would vote Conservative if it had a vote on 7th May, with 9 per cent favouring Labour.
“The results of our survey are unequivocal – membership of the EU is vital to the UK’s prosperity and there is no appetite among businesses for withdrawal,” says Nick Pearce.
“When it comes to the election, most SMEs in our survey take a dispassionate view and agree with Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, that the economic medicine administered over the past five years has worked, and that the Conservatives are the safest pair of hands when it comes to managing the recovery.”