HomeBussinessNorthern Ireland business ‘ready to work’ with new UK government

Northern Ireland business ‘ready to work’ with new UK government

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The Labour Party, led by Sir Keir Starmer, won a landslide victory in the General Election, with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) hailing the win as bringing a new era of stability.

In Northern Ireland, there are new faces in constituencies including Fermanagh and South Tyrone, North Down, Lagan Valley, South Antrim and North Antrim.

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive at Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said business was ready to work with the latest intake.

She said: “On behalf of NI Chamber, we congratulate Northern Ireland’s newly elected MPs. We look forward to continued and extensive engagement with local MPs, working in partnership with them to help create optimum conditions for business and economic growth in Northern Ireland.

“We also congratulate the next UK Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, and intend to work closely with his government to advance the priorities of Northern Ireland’s business community, as laid out in our own business manifesto.”

She said priorities included a new, long-term fiscal framework for Northern Ireland and measures to improve the region’s competitiveness.

But she said change was required as business battles with deep-rooted problems. “Our members report that rising costs, skills shortages and infrastructure gaps are contributing to a challenging trading environment, so a reset is required.

“It is imperative that the new UK government plays its part in those policy, funding and legislative interventions which will enable growth here.

“They need to get to work quickly, working closely with business to understand Northern Ireland’s unique challenges and strengths so they can help the region double down on its many areas of success and ensure that NI becomes known around the world as a hub for innovation and sustainable growth.”

Tina McKenzie, policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), congratulated the Labour Party on its decisive victory, and the winning MPs of all parties.

“The clear result of the General Election gives hope that political stability can lead to economic stability and recovery.

“There’s a golden chance in the first 100 days of this new administration to plant the seeds of small business growth, and there are a range of policies FSB hopes the new Government will bring forward.

“These include measures to ease the cost of doing business and support investment and expansion. From tackling poor payment practices by big businesses to their smaller suppliers to reforming the not-fit-for-purpose business rates system.

“The upcoming King’s Speech should include a Small Business Bill to enshrine in legislation much-needed changes to better support small firms and the self-employed.

“Supporting and growing small businesses is good for jobs, good for communities in all parts of the country, and good for the whole economy.”

She said the FSB looked forward to working with the new government. “This will ensure that the small business voice is heard clearly and the right actions can be taken to support existing entrepreneurs and encourage new ones.”

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