Election 2015

Uncertainty is on the cards post May 7 vote

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Rick Pendrous, editor, Food Manufacture
Rick Pendrous, editor, Food Manufacture
In just over a day’s time it will all be over (we hope). The nation will have spoken, and with it will be an end to all the political posturing we have endured over the past month or so. No more claim and counter claim from political parties vying for our attention and, more importantly, our votes.

For most people it is a relief that the whole experience is relatively short (unlike in the US, where the electorate suffer around 18 months of presidential campaigning).

Most notable to me this time round is how intensely the different commitments (or lack of them) have been scrutinised, both by journalists and organisations such as the staunchly independent Institute for Fiscal Studies. Discrepancies in policies from the parties have been picked up, together with even greater vagueness about costs and cuts.

Huge cuts

The common theme that has emerged is that, whoever wins, as a nation we face huge cuts to balance the books. And with some areas such as health, education and pensions ring fenced, cuts in other departments are likely to be even more horrendous.

Expect to see further swingeing butchery at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (the food and drink sector’s sponsor department) and possibly also at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where many in the sector believe food and drink would more comfortably sit.

Of course, the nightmare scenario is that May 7 doesn’t produce a conclusive result. And with the pundits predicting no party having an overall majority, some form of coalition, or less satisfactory, minority government staggering along under ‘confidence and supply’ agreements with other small parties could be the result.


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