Almost two-thirds of British businesses consider MPs to be ineffective in representing their legitimate interests in parliament, says a MindMetre report released this week. These findings are substantial in an economy where the private sector employs over two-fifths of the working population, with SMEs in particular contributing disproportionately to employment.
While large companies have higher than average confidence in their MPs, medium-sized firms feel the most under-represented. Nearly 70 per cent deem their MPs ineffective at getting their voices heard. Instead, businesses have much larger confidence in trade associations – some 63.6 per cent rate them effective at representing their interests to national and EU level.
The MindMetre report calls for parliamentarians to look beyond large company directors’ bonuses, and forge a closer understanding of effective stimuli and support for the wider business community. It highlights the need for greater efforts from the business community to communicate more effectively with MPs on broad business issues.
“We were really taken back by the massive lack of business confidence in MPs shown in this study, especially when cross-party support is needed for sensible and effective strategies for boosting the fortunes of British business,” said managing director at MindMetre research, Paul Lindsell. “The key focus at the moment should be getting UK plc back on its feet, not political in-fighting, and this report starkly emphasises how parliamentarians may simply not be paying enough attention to the issue.”
Mindmetre notes that only 25 per cent of MPs come from a business background, almost the exact opposite of the composition of employment in the UK.
Lindsell concludes: “By the same token, the outcomes of this report should also make broad business organisations up their game and make more effort to communicate with MPs. Trade associations are deemed highly effective at championing their specific issues and themes, but more generalist organisations do not seem to be getting their message across with the same effectiveness.”
SMEs are urged to work with their MPs to improve profit and on a larger scale, drag the UK kicking and screaming out of this economic slump.
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