As the Conservative and Lib Dem leaders come to an agreement on the working principles of the new government, retailers are certain that economic growth should be the priority.
Lancashire independent Mark Bamforth said the economy needed to be taken firmly in hand. “I’m not worried about a coalition government, as it would mean that we have the best brains from across a much wider spectrum,” he said. “However, the party leaders need to put aside their squabbling over parliamentary reform and focus on the economy, or we could find ourselves in the same situation as Greece.”
Spar retailer Peter Sichel, of Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire, said plugging the economic deficit would help to fill the tills.
“Convenience stores have proved to be pretty recession proof so far, but I don’t know how much longer we can hold out. We urgently need some stability in the economy and a bit more optimism in general. Once people start parting with their cash we’ll be on the road to recovery.”
ACS public affairs director Shane Brennan explained that the new political landscape of a hung parliament means it could be easier for campaigners to block controversial legislation.
“This will be double-edged, though,” he told C-Store. “While it means that it should make it easier for us to oppose legislation we don’t like, it will also make it easier for others to oppose measures that we’d really like to see happen.”
However, Surrey independent retailer Manny Patel said he feared that a lot of damage had already been done. “The last few days of political unrest could already have fractured the fragile progress that had started to be made,” he said. “We desperately need some stability so we can get a hold on the economic crisis.
“Another huge fear is that taxes will be increased. The government is going to have to claw back the money somehow,” he added.