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April 14, 2010 9:00 AM

Lib Dem Candidate for Stockton South, Jacquie Bell, took part in a 3 way meeting of the local Federation of Small Businesses along with Dari Taylor MP and James Wharton, Conservative candidate on April 12th.

Candidates responded to questions relating to the well being of small businesses in particular and the economy in general. She referred to the Lib Dem policy document on "Enterprise in a Fair Society" which is downloadable from the Party website..

Jacquie Bell with Vince Cable MP

Jacquie with Vince Cable MP

Jacquie agreed to take up with Vince Cable, Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor, issues relating to the local road haulage industry in the wake of vast fuel price increases - a rise of around £3,000 a week for one member.

Questions were also asked about prospective increases in National Insurance contributions and VAT. Jacquie stated that Lib Dem MPs had opposed an increase in National Insurance contributions that are seen as a tax on job creation.

Jacquie noted that Lib Dems wanted to support local businesses in a variety of ways e.g the formation of Local Enterprise Funds for funding new initiatives, support for apprenticeships and schemes to support local post offices and ensure the vibrancy of diverse High Streets. Lib Dems also support a reduction in red tape and Fiona Hall MEP has welcomed the news that businesses with under 9 employees will not have to complete compulsory annual audited accounts.