General Election candidates face voters

Labour MP Ian MUrray will be among the panellists. Picture: Neil Hanna

Labour MP Ian MUrray will be among the panellists. Picture: Neil Hanna

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Have your say

VOTERS will have the chance to quiz general election candidates on key issues affecting the Capital at a hustings event next week.

The meeting, on Wednesday evening at the Storytelling Centre in the Royal Mile, has been organised by the Federation of Small Businesses in partnership with the Evening News.

It is open to the public as well as the business community.

The panel will include Labour shadow business minister Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South; Mike Crockart, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West; Michelle Thomson, SNP candidate for Edinburgh West and former managing director of Business for Scotland; local businessman Iain McGill, Conservative candidate for Edinburgh North & Leith; and Peter McColl, former Edinburgh University rector and Green candidate for Edinburgh East. It will be chaired by Evening News deputy editor Euan McGrory.

The FSB’s Edinburgh branch chairwoman, Ruth Mckay, said she hoped there would be a good turnout from business people and other city voters.

She said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Edinburgh economy and that is why it is vital that all of those who seek to serve us are given the chance to talk about the issues that affect us.

“We think this will be an excellent opportunity to have a lively and informative debate where all those who attend will get to learn a little bit more about the policies of the parties and individuals who are standing for them.”

The FSB has published a general election manifesto and has been running a campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #ibacksmallbusiness, asking candidates to sign up. Its focus includes making markets work better and lowering the costs of doing business.

Among issues expected to come up at the hustings event are calls for a more competitive banking market in Scotland; the case for a review of business rates north of the Border to match the review due to take place in England; the continuing problem of energy prices; and pleas for tax simplification and a reduction in red tape.

The hustings event starts at 6pm in the Netherbow theatre at the Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street.

Places are limited. Anyone who wants to attend must register in advance by going to http://fsbedinburghhustings 2015.eventbrite.co.uk

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com