The findings of this week's Accountancy Age Big Question, conducted by Reed Accountancy Personnel, suggest initial doubts in the business community about Labour have evaporated since 1997. Some 44% of FDs surveyed said the economy was in safer hands under the Labour government. 'The Labour government has shown a safe pair of hands and a competent approach. The Conservatives are in disarray and it is impossible to be confident about their current ability to manage,' said Mark Wellby, FD at the British Academy. Edmond Hillman of Revertex Chemicals said: 'I think we already have a Conservative government just under another name.' Only 28% of FDs said the Conservatives would manage the economy better, while a further 28% remained neutral. Ron Haley, FD at construction consultant Andrews Kent & Stone, said: 'The Labour government is weakening the economy by stealth - such as Brown's disposal of gold stores at rock bottom price. The effect of government policies will not be realised for one to two years.'
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