Open your door to MPs

By Julian Hunt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum wage, Food and drink federation

Open your door to MPs
As we enter what many pundits are hailing as a new era in politics, many in our sector are trying to assess what it all means for food manufacturing.

Inevitably, we are clearer about some things than others. The proposed tax on jobs National Insurance hikes will be ditched. That's good news. We will not have clarity on the less palatable VAT hikes until the Emergency Budget.

As the nation went to the polls, Food Manufacture's website carried a fascinating poll of industry bosses​ who outlined what they wanted to see from a new government from targeted skills funding to a freeze in the minimum wage. These are the sort of messages that we will be putting before ministers in the months ahead and we will be pressing them hard on the importance of creating an environment in which our sector can remain competitive.

But we can't do it on our own.

A hung Parliament and coalition government means MPs will be more influential than ever in policy and regulatory debates. Every vote will count.

So now is the time to start influencing them. Open your doors; invite in your local MPs; show them what you do. And make sure they appreciate how important food manufacturing is to the economy and understand the regulatory and fiscal pressures.

If more of the 7,000 or so businesses that make up our great industry did this one simple task, I am convinced that politicians would quickly stop taking us for granted.

Julian Hunt
 is director of communications at the 
Food and Drink Federation


Related topics: Regulation