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Reducing the budget deficit must be a new government's priority, say business leaders

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Business leaders have called for a new government to put reducing the budget deficit ahead of preventing the rise in National Insurance Contributions and freezing employment legislation.

A British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) snap poll of 500 businesses has revealed that a majority of companies (58%) want a new government to prioritise reducing the UK's budget deficit once ministers are in place.

Asked how the result of the election would impact on the UK's ability to cut the deficit, 49% stated it would make it ‘somewhat harder' or ‘much harder'. This compares with just 17% that suggested it would make it ‘somewhat easier' or ‘much easier'.

Respondents were also asked what form of government they would now consider to be the best for UK business. Nearly half (45%) selected a Conservative-led coalition, given the outcome of the election. 19% suggested a Conservative minority would be the best option, while 15% opted for a Labour-led coalition.

Commenting, David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Businesses nationwide have watched negotiations between the parties closely since the election result became clear. This poll shows that business's overwhelming priority is for a strong and stable administration to be formed in order to cut the UK's unsustainable budget deficit. This single goal must be the focus of a new government's first 90 days, and beyond."