Politics never used to be something that I thought about much in relation to our business, other than in a fairly general way at election time, when considering issues such as tax, unemployment, the NHS and so on. However, in the past few years it has become impossible to divorce politics from the day-to-day running of the store, such has been the burden of legislation pouring down on us from Westminster, Brussels and Holyrood.
Even before the calling of the snap General Election, it was a daily topic of conversation, as so much of what we do is impacted by new policies, and every new investment or recruitment has to be scrutinised through the prism of possible new legislation.
Costs have been spiralling, and much of that is directly down to new law: National Living Wage; [Pension] Auto Enrolment; rates revaluation; and licensing regulations. None of these bring us more business, only more costs. Now we are starting to see inflation having an impact, and we have the hugely costly and disruptive Deposit and Return Scheme lurking in the political background.
So it has never been more important who we vote for, yet it has never been harder to decide. All of the parties support an increased living wage, many citing at least £10 an hour, and in Scotland we have ‘indyref2’ as a factor.
Faced with no party that we can fully endorse, Dennis and I have decided that we will be voting for our sitting MP; we know him well, he is hardworking and helpful, and we have a good working relationship with him.
In the end, don’t people always vote for people, not parties?