The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

UK just can’t af­ford any more ‘po­lit­i­cal paral­y­sis’

- UK News · Politics · United Kingdom · London Heathrow Airport · Confederation of British Industry

A se­nior busi­ness leader is warn­ing the UK can­not af­ford an­other wasted year of “po­lit­i­cal paral­y­sis”, while pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­vest­ment suf­fers.

Carolyn Fair­bairn, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the CBI, said who­ever wins the gen­eral elec­tion, the top pri­or­ity must be to work with busi­ness to pro­vide “bolder, bet­ter and fairer” an­swers to the chal­lenges fac­ing the UK.

She launched the busi­ness group’s man­i­festo for po­lit­i­cal par­ties, which out­lines steps the next gov­ern­ment should take to un­lock the UK’s com­pet­i­tive­ness.

This in­cludes re­form­ing busi­ness rates, fix­ing the “bro­ken” ap­pren­tice­ship levy and com­plet­ing vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture projects in­clud­ing HS2 and Heathrow ex­pan­sion.

The CBI also called for a new im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem which pro­vides ac­cess to labour and skills, fo­cuses on con­tri­bu­tion, not num­bers, and gives busi­ness time to adapt.

Speak­ing ahead of the CBI’s an­nual con­fer­ence to­day, Ms Fair­bairn said: “Public faith in our politi­cians and in­sti­tu­tions con­tin­ues to erode, the his­toric part­ner­ship be­tween busi­ness and gov­ern­ment is un­der strain. Busi­ness in­vest­ment has fallen for 18 months and pro­duc­tiv­ity growth re­mains stub­bornly slug­gish. Con­fi­dence in the UK is fal­ter­ing.

“This can­not con­tinue, but it is within our power to change it.

“We sim­ply can­not af­ford an­other wasted year of po­lit­i­cal paral­y­sis, in­de­ci­sion and dis­trac­tion while pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­vest­ment suf­fer.”

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