SMEs 'worried over general election outcome'

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The outcome of the election is playing heavy on the minds of many SME leaders

A significant proportion of UK small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders have admitted to holding concerns regarding the outcome of next week's general election.

Research compiled by ClicData and reported by GrowthBusiness.co.uk showed one of the most concerning elements of the changes in parliament will be the affect this will have on pensions legislation in the coming years - this was shown to be a concern for 44 per cent of respondents.

Meanwhile, 38 per cent stated they fear for the direction of future legislation on flexible working in the UK and 36 per cent highlighted concerns of potential changes to the minimum wage.

Moreover, the survey showed almost half (48 per cent) of small business operators believe the coalition government has served mainly the interest of larger companies in recent years, while just 13 per cent felt that SMEs had been the chief beneficiaries under existing government policy.

Responding to the results, Sage European president Brendan Flattery told the news provider that perhaps more could have been done by this government to support SMEs, but this does not change the fact that the UK remains one of the best places in the world for new businesses to flourish.

He said: "The last government has taken steps to improve the situation even further by implementing initiatives designed to cut red tape and improve access to finance. But even by the prime minister's own admission the job is only half done."

Indeed, Mr Flattery argued the coming years must see a continued focus on improving the lot of SMEs up and down the country, as these firms represent the backbone of the nation's economy and are the driving force behind the present recovery.

A lack of support for smaller firms by the next government could therefore place the wellbeing of the nation as a whole in jeopardy, and this is something that ministers will therefore have to bear in mind when moving forward.