Lack of action on growth ‘really disappointing’, John Cridland tells FT
Government officials seem 'dazzled in the headlights' – and are not making as much progress as they should, says CBI chief
John Cridland, the CBI director-general, has criticised the government’s action on growth in an interview with the Financial Times.
Mr Cridland questioned the speed of progress on growth seven months after George Osborne set out his plan to revive the economy.
“I think it is really disappointing how long it is taking to get momentum and urgency into the growth plan,” he told the Financial Times.
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The CBI chief also reiterated the threat to UK growth from the eurozone. “The risks that the eurozone headwinds can really flatten the economy are still pretty considerable,” he said.
He went on to criticise Justine Greening’s transport department for delays in the construction of a possible toll road to unblock the congested A14 route, which carries container traffic to Felixstowe.
“On Justine Greening’s desk is an options report from officials following a call for evidence,” he said. “I was talking about diggers on the ground.”
Mr Cridland said officials seemed “dazzled in the headlights”, and suggested that political wrangling was hampering progress - particularly on a proposed 10% subsidy level for renewable energy, which he said “Makes sense to me.”
“It’s got stuck in a political row,” he added. “The economics of it are blindingly obvious.”
And Mr Cridland said it was vital a revised private finance initiative was rolled out. “We were expected the PFI review to be included in the March Budget,” he said.
The CBI director-general also outlined his concerns on economic growth on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning.