Businesses punch above their weight

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I make no apologies for spending time every week with our thriving Calder Valley businesses. I do this because business is the beating heart of all things good in our economy.

Without a successful, thriving economy there is no money for services; no money to fund our NHS, schools, transport or anything else for that matter. No jobs either.

That’s why in my five years as your MP, I have always championed our local businesses.

Thankfully after much economic turmoil left by the previous government, our local businesses are thriving and are punching above their weight in turning Labour’s economic mess around.

It comes as no surprise then to hear the completely negative approach towards business shown by the current Labour opposition.

You have a leader of the opposition who fails to mention the economy in his recent speech - but even more worryingly we hear warnings from dozens of senior business leaders from around the country that Miliband’s anti-business rhetoric will cost jobs.

According to Lord Digby Jones (Digby Jones was in Gordon Brown’s government and also Director General of the CBI from 2000 to 2006), if Mr Miliband keeps making those remarks multi-nationals might not invest in the UK and it could see the loss of more than 100,000 jobs.

You then have the “wannabe” Chancellor in Ed Balls who couldn’t even remember the name of the one business which apparently supports Labour. “Bill.......somebody”!!

Both of these were in charge of the finances when they crashed the economy.

Businesses have picked up the pieces of their huge financial mess and businesses shouldn’t be attacked in the way we currently hear from Labour.

Business people from all over the Calder Valley are extremely worried about Labour’s anti-business rhetoric and they are talking to me and calling me every week to say so.

I detect a real worry at the thought of Ed Miliband getting his hands on the economic reins. They feel we’re finally going in the right direction and the last thing we need is a change of management – especially one that seems to have no empathy with business.

They have another worry – Miliband’s avowed admiration for French president Francois Hollande’s economic policies. UK businesses don’t want Britain turning into France with their poor economic record.

Richard Caring, a former Labour lender who is still owed money by the party, said that people might emigrate to France if Mr Miliband wins May’s election because of the party’s “cheap vote catching” attacks on the business community.

I don’t know about that, but I do know that to secure jobs, services and a thriving local economy, I will stand up and be counted when it comes to defending all of our excellent Calder Valley businesses. They are vital to prosperity for us all.

By Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker