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Leader: Advisers will welcome Election certainty, but new questions raised

SO, THE BEEB’s exit poll was right. And there is much hat and kilt-eating to be had in the coming hours.

The markets are happy, with both Sterling and the stock exchange trading up on the likely Conservative majority.

And talking of majorities, the vast majority of accountants will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief. For their business and private clients, certainty of direction around fiscal policy and tax rules are vital.

It’s been a slow, steady, unspectacular improvement in fortunes for many of these clients during the coalition’s term. They will hope that maintaining the current direction of travel will see more business investment, whether it be from traditional sources or alternative finance.

Advisers would also hope that the various tax reliefs put in place for specialist industries, or for the investment community, stay in place.

But it’s not necessarily all good news.

If a Conservative government steps up its austerity plans, cutting deeper into the public sector, then it will mean the private sector having to have very wide, open, arms to absorb people into the job market. If not, then welfare system will start creaking under the weight.

An already stretched, dysfunctional HM Revenue & Customs will be placed under even more pressure to raise funds. Let’s face it, that was on the cards however this parliament was cut.

Without a Coalition government, the handbrake mechanism for the more ‘fruity’ of policies is removed. Can the Tories find a way to invest in infrastructure?

And while Labour speaks fire and brimstone when it comes to the professional services community, it may well have opened up the opportunity for the public sector to welcome back private sector consultants – an area that has been hit hard during the last government. This would now seem unlikely.

One thing’s for sure: the profession will at least have a quieter weekend to look forward to than what they expected.

Kevin Reed is editor of both Accountancy Age and Financial Director

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