City says Conservatives are not doing enough to promote growth

THE Tories are not doing enough to promote economic growth, according to the overwhelming majority of panellists on the City A.M./ PoliticsHome Voice of the City panel.

Sixty-nine per cent of panellists said the Tories were not doing enough to promote growth in the economy, against just twenty-nine per cent who thought they were. Two per cent said they didn’t know.

Although most panellists recognised that the Conservative party’s room for manoeuvre was limited by its power-sharing agreement with the Liberal Democrats, many felt the Tories were giving their junior coalition partners too much sway. Several panellists used the analogy of the tail wagging the dog.

A significant number of panellists felt the environment for business and finance was not much better than it was under Labour, even though the Conservatives are seen as the party of private enterprise.

“Just as bad at not standing up for business as Labour was,” said one member of the panel.

“They haven’t done anything to move Britain off the track we were on under Labour,” added another.

Panellists identified several areas where the Tories had actively hindered growth, including hostility towards the City and banking; increasing the regulatory burden on companies; failing to fight anti-business European laws; and introducing a cap on immigration.

The panel said Boris Johnson (pictured), the Mayor of London, would make a better future party leader and Prime Minister than George Osborne, who as chancellor is most responsible for promoting growth. Excluding those who said they did not know, 57 per cent picked Johnson compared to 43 per cent for Osborne.

The Voice of the City panel, in association with PoliticsHome, has been selected to represent a cross-section of London’s business and financial community. There were 435 responses.