South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon believes businesses in his constituency are becoming more optimistic following a period of cautiousness after the 2008 financial crash.
The Conservative MP was speaking at the ‘Breakfast with Bacon’ event at the Park Hotel in Diss this morning, which was organised by the Diss Business Forum, which acts as a support mechanism for more than 100 businesses.
It is invaluable to hear what people from businesses locally have to say and what they are experiencing day-to-day in the real economy, because I often think people running large government departments are too far removed from what’s really going on and they forget who is paying for that activityRichard Bacon MP
Asked what he made of the current situation for businesses in his constituency, Mr Bacon told the Diss Express: “I think at the moment people are more optimistic.
“And although there is still a degree of caution around from most of the businesses I talk to and indeed from the banks that I talk to, people are wanting to undertake projects, they are wanting to invest and borrow money, and I think generally people are fairly optimistic.
“It has taken quite a long time to get to that point because of the dire situation that we were in after the crash, so naturally people were very cautious to start with.
“But I think confidence and the gaining of confidence is a self-reinforcing thing. As you get a bit more of it, other people who weren’t confident before become confident, and that itself creates a better climate and a better platform for moving forward.”
A question and answer session was held, with representatives from businesses across Norfolk in attendance.
Mr Bacon told guests there was a big responsibilty for the government to look after taxes collected from businesses “very carefully”, while he also felt it would be better for local people on local councils to have more of a say on where and how money was spent in their area.
Other issues addressed included housing, council tax, HMRC and tax returns, and the situation with Islamic State.
Chair of the Diss Business Forum, Kerry Kirby, said: “It makes the event much more credible and makes the business forum a much more credible organisation for our members (by having Mr Bacon there).
“We give our members the opportunity to put their questions forward to an MP, which they would not normally get. Lots of small businesses do not get the chance to have that connection with their local MP in that way.
“It was brilliant to have Richard here and we want to do more events like that in the future.”
Mr Bacon added: “It is invaluable to hear what people from businesses locally have to say and what they are experiencing day-to-day in the real economy, because I often think people running large government departments are too far removed from what’s really going on and they forget who is paying for that activity. It is these people through their taxes, and through the people they employ and their taxes that are paying the salaries of nurses and teachers and the fabric of primary schools.
“So listening to what these people have to say is absolutely essential and I value it very much.”
For more information on the Diss Business Forum, visit www.dbf.org.uk