Before the general election the business community made it clear that from their point of view the three areas of prime importance that any new government had to address were Deficit Reduction, School Competition, and Regulatory Reform. They expected action on these during the first 100 days of a new government so as to demonstrate a clear commitment to tackle some of the UK economy’s biggest problems.

So how has the new coalition government done in these areas?

Clearly things are a bit more complicated for this government as both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties had to drop or amend some of their manifesto pledges in order to get agreement and form a government. A lot of people seem to have forgotten this and I am surprised how often Tory or LibDem voters can be heard complaining that their party has reneged on promises.

LibDems in particular seem to have forgotten that they are the smallest of the parties and also that any system of coalition government means compromise. The fact is that in countries where they have proportional representation (which the LibDems are desperate to get) no-one actually gets what they voted for as every government is a coalition and has to do deals to obtain and remain in government.

After 100 days of government the coalition government has achieved two key early objectives – an ambitious deficit reduction plan and a bill facilitating more school competition. In order for the UK economy to thrive, tackling the crisis in our public finances and creating a better skilled workforce is absolutely vital.

However, we have to be a bit concerned that the government has yet to show a similar enthusiasm for grappling with the problem of over-regulation, particularly of the labour market. To date we have heard a lot about new regulations and not much about regulatory reform, despite assurances in the coalition agreement.

If the UK is to compete in a global marketplace as the economy recovers the government needs to make it easier for businesses to employ people, not harder.

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