CBI warns that UK economy faces 'last chance saloon'

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, believes that unless government takes radical action, right now, we're toast.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Speaking ahead of the CBI’s annual conference on Monday, Cridland described the current state of the UK economy as a ‘mess’. ‘[It’s] in a bad place, with confidence evaporating,’ he added.

Businesses have cash on their balance sheets, they’re just not spending it, Cridland explained. Like all markets, bonds to jobs, recovery and progress depends on confidence. The belief in an upturn is the only thing that can create one.

Cridland also made some practical suggestions for effecting an economic turnaround. Namely: improving infrastructure - including more toll roads, and scrapping the carbon price floor. He described the latter as an ‘own goal’ for government; a move that could ultimately see large energy-guzzlers upping sticks and relocating overseas.

‘It's business investment and exports that will lead to British jobs,’ he said. This we know, John. But making these investments on borrowed cash while trying to reduce the deficit is an impossible contradiction.

‘For me, the harder the times, the deeper you dig for the solutions that work,’ were Cridland’s final grandstanding words of wisdom. But it looks as though we’re going to have to dig a fair bit deeper.

The MT team will be reporting live from the CBI conference on Monday. Tune in for the latest updates on the UK ecnonomy.

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