Policy representative, Forum of Private Business
I'm glad that's over! The election, I mean. Votes have been tallied, majorities calculated, negotiations completed and we have a new Government, and, as I write, the Cabinet ministers are being appointed as part of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. When the dust has settled and normal service resumes, the real work of getting the country back on track will begin.
During the election, every candidate received a copy of our manifesto, where we set out what we felt should be the priorities for the new government. Those were:
l Free enterprise: we believe the greatest drivers of growth in the UK economy will come from small businesses, with new ideas born in rapidly changing sectors and developed at a speed that traditional models of government spending will not have the agility to support.
l Fiscal responsibility: securing the UK's reputation as a good place to do business will mean bringing Britain's finances under control.
l Stability: any drastic cuts to government programmes should be balanced out by the need to ameliorate the damage of the recession. Continuity of support should go beyond party politics.
l New technologies, new markets: as new technologies develop and new markets open around the world, there should be equal opportunities for small businesses to develop new business models in innovative ways.
The Forum of Private Business had also been campaigning to stop Labour's planned rise in National Insurance contributions. That looks likely in the upcoming 'emergency' budget, which would be great.
With the election media circus over, this year is certainly shaping up to be a busy one.