Economy: Firms Demand Infrastructure Urgency
The CBI has launched a stinging attack on the Government, accusing the coalition of dragging its heels on delivering promised infrastructure spending to help lift the economy.
The business lobby group said it feared there was a "lack of political will" to get schemes off the ground with "too few signs of action" over the past two years on issues such as tackling potholes to the future of the country's airports.
It urged politicians to commit to immediate projects that were crucial to boosting exports and unlocking business investment.
A survey of 526 businesses by the CBI and accountancy firm KPMG found 65% of companies believed that Government policies would have no tangible impact, or could have even a negative effect.
Only a third of firms questioned - 35% - said they would make a difference on the ground, the study suggested.
John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said: "Government has talked the talk on infrastructure for the last two years with too few signs of action.
"The faltering speed of delivery on infrastructure creates a worrying sense that politicians lack the political will to tackle some of the major issues head-on."
He added the coalition must commit to detailed delivery on a number of projects in the next 18 months, while starting the debate on longer-term issues such as road reforms and Britain's airport capacity.
Businesses are increasingly worried about the UK's creaking road network, with nearly half of all firms polled unhappy with domestic transport, up from 28% in 2011.
Energy costs are another major headache, with 95% of firms concerned about gas and electricity prices and 90% worried about security of supply.
Firms are also keen for ongoing improvements in Britain's digital infrastructure, with the survey showing more than 80% of firms consider faster and more reliable fixed-line and mobile broadband as critical to their success.
A Government spokesman responded: "At the Spending Round we set out £100bn of what the report highlights as 'bold ambitions and flagship projects which if delivered will provide a significant boost to UK competitiveness'.
"The Government's focus is now on implementing these plans."