Cllr Alexander Stafford attended a business breakfast meeting in his capacity as councillor liaison to the Ealing and Acton Business Club, with the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Mr. Hands spoke to around 45 members of the Ealing business community about the Conservative government’s plans for business.
During his speech, Mr. Hands commented that Britain’s deficit is one of highest in the Western world and it is essential that this is eliminated. He said that his most important role is to find a sustainable solution to the deficit, committing to selling assets rather than cutting services.
Turning to local business, Mr Hands noted that you should not judge between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ business, which is the focus of Labour. He said that the country needs business to generate jobs and in turn create the taxation which can be used for public works. He emphasised that there cannot be a strong NHS without strong business.
Resonating with local priorities, Mr. Hands reported that the government is prioritising support for business, highlighting the importance of infrastructure and the benefits Crossrail will bring to Ealing. He also talked about the major review of business rates that has been undertaken.
Councillor Alexander Stafford commented “Speaking to our local businesses I have seen how keen they are to engage with our new Conservative government. It is great to have the number two in the Treasury take time out of his busy schedule to come to Ealing to not only speak to local businesses, but also to listen to them. The business leaders present had the opportunity to take Mr Hands to task and he wrote down many of the suggestions, promising that he will respond to each and every one of them.
It is important that all politicians are readily accessible and willing to take on board the views and opinions of those working in business on a day-to-basis. Mr. Hands has promised to return to the business club in the future so that the local businesses can continue to engage nationally and hold both him and the government to the policies and promises made.”
Greg Hands MP
Rt Hon Greg Hands MP addressing the Ealing and Acton Business Club