General Election countdown: Chamber launches Business Manifesto | May 2021

Chamber of Commerce has published a manifesto which sets out the most urgent priorities for businesses

Date: Friday 07 May 2021

As the Island counts down the days to the General Election, the Chamber of Commerce has published a manifesto which sets out the most urgent priorities for businesses.

It’s the result of feedback from sector based forums that all Chamber members were invited to participate in. Members were asked for their views on the most important issues they want to see the next Government focus on and effectively tackle. During the General Election campaign, the Island’s biggest business network is urging voters to ask candidates for their views on these priorities which Chamber members believe are all vital for economic growth. It is a list of thematic issues which require addressing.

Chamber President Caren Pegg said: “As the Island’s biggest business network, our members are drawn from all of the Island’s major economic sectors, and they represent businesses totalling around 20,000 employees which is approximately half of the private sector workforce on the Island. It is, therefore, essential that the views of our members are heard by all General Election candidates and voters. That’s why we have published our ‘Business Manifesto’ which is based on the results from a series of ‘Have Your Say’ sessions that gauged opinions from within every sector of the economy. A strong economy is in the interests of everyone in the community, and vital to support the quality of life that we all enjoy – so during the election campaign we’re encouraging all voters to question candidates about their views on the issues that affect businesses.”

The President said the Manifesto sends a powerful message to prospective candidates to ensure that they address the issues that the business community has highlighted as priorities. However, she stressed that Chamber is not supporting any particular candidates or political party – the Business Manifesto forms part of a campaign focused only on ensuring that the issues which affect business and the economy are considered by every voter and every prospective MHK.

Some of the key issues set out in Chamber’s Business Manifesto are:

• A need for a more joined-up, smaller and less bureaucratic Government
• A Strategic Skills Plan aligned to the needs of the local economy
• Root and branch reform of public sector finances
• Increased Government collaboration with the private sector, and earlier meaningful consultation on business, legal and economic issues

Chamber will soon by announcing a list of questions that will help voters to challenge election candidates about their views on issues affecting business and the economy.

You can find a summary of the Business Manifesto here and the full version here.

WATCH: Full interview with President, Caren Pegg and Chief Executive, Rebecca George