General Election 2015: Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gahia wants a strong leader who will back business

Jayne-Anne Gadhia
Jayne-Anne Gahia is chief executive of Virgin Money


Every day until the final week of the election campaign, we ask a business leader to say what policies would entice them to vote for a particular party.


I will vote for the party who has the strongest leader. Leadership is essential for success - whether in sport, business, public service or politics. I want to be represented by a confident leader, who has the integrity and the statesmanship that will present the best interests of our country both at home and on the world stage. And I desperately want a leader who will represent the many - not the few - in a tolerant, open and strong United Kingdom.
■ It is also important to have a government which will champion business success and encourage vibrant and thriving competition in all sectors. I want a government brave enough to take on the vested interests of the large incumbent banks and also innovative enough to implement full Account Number Portability and so end, once and for all, the anti-competitive current account market protected by the big banks today. Vested interests will say that is unaffordable. The truth is that we cannot afford not to introduce it if we really want a world-class banking sector that works for charities, businesses and consumers alike.
■ And I will vote for you only if you put economic strength at the heart of all you do. With policies that ensure a strong and growing economy and with a tax regime and immigration policy that attracts the best to Britain I think we can improve health, education and the other public services that we all rely on.
■ Government policies should incentivise an entrepreneurial culture across all disciplines from engineering to digital. That means encouraging start-up businesses created by people from a wide range of backgrounds. It also means investing in skills, online connectivity and education to address youth unemployment and to get the engine room of the economy firing.
■ Let’s find a way to tackle housing across the UK. A generation of young people are priced out of the market, changes are needed to the planning system and more can be done to provide financial support to first time buyers. I feel privileged to live in a democracy where issues can be debated openly and where we can vote on issues such as membership of Europe or the future of the UK. And in the end I want a government which lives by the will of the people. That seems to me where true leadership and real integrity lie.


Visit our General Election poll tracker to see how each party is faring in the build-up to 7 May.

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