Con-Lib coalition: reactions from the business world

Richard Lambert, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

"The agreement between the Conservative and Liberal Democrats to form the next Government is welcome news. Business wants to see a stable Government with the authority to take the tough decisions that will be required to keep the economic recovery on track and to get a grip on the fiscal deficit. This coalition should have the votes and the mandate to get on with the job.

"In the past few days, leaders of all three of the main political parties have emphasised their commitment to restoring fiscal stability in the national interest. That must be their overriding priority in the months to come."

Speaking at today's Entrepreneurs' Summit (via @stuart_rock), Lambert also said small businesses really matter but questioned whether the country's financial structures up to the task of financing them. He is not as sure as Shakespeare about positive change to the procurement process. He also expects taxes to go up.

Robert Peston, business editor of the BBC

"What may shock many investors is that the coalition will more-or-less adopt the Lib Dem's policy on raising the capital gains tax rate to streamline it with income tax. That means the top rate of CGT will be at least 40%, and possibly 50%.

"However a much lower rate will be applied to 'entrepreneurial' business investment: the higher capital gains tax rate is aimed at extracting more revenue from speculation, but there will in a sense be a return to the system only abandoned by Labour a couple of years ago, where there were significant tax rewards for those who invest in wealth-creating activities for longer."

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Jean Eaglesham, chief political correspondent of Financial Times

"The 18% rate of tax on gains on non-business assets will be increased to close to the 40% higher rate of income tax, meeting a central plank of Lib Dem policy, according to Tory insiders. There will be 'generous exemptions' for profits related to business, in a bid to offset concerns about the potential chilling effect of the tax increase on entrepreneurs.

"The revenue from the tax rise will be used to help fund a significant increase in the income tax threshold to help lower-paid people, taking effect in April. The new government, with George Osborne as chancellor, will also agree to subsequent real terms increases in this threshold, as part of a longer term goal of meeting the £17bn Lib Dem policy of raising the income tax exemption to £10,000.

"The income tax change means the government will not implement the Tory commitment to reverse Labour's planned 2011 one percentage point national insurance rise for employees. But the £3bn reversal of the rise in employers' national insurance will take effect - a commitment that will be strongly welcomed by business."

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Peter Ibbotson, Lombard

Speaking at today's Entrepreneur's Summit (via @stuart_rock), Ibbotson said the Conservatives are talking about relook at guarantee schemes for small and medium-sized businesses. He said this is a big opportunity to use programmes for new entrepreneurs.

Stephen Shakespeare, YouGov

Speaking at today's Entrepreneur's Summit (via @stuart_rock), Shakepseare said there will be more government contracts open for SMEs, and this will be huge positive difference for entrepreneurs. He is optimistic about a big change in the procurement process.

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