Monday, 19 September 2011

How many of us have been delayed on a train journey due to “leaves on the line” or experienced excessively slow internet download speeds?  I think most people in the UK believe that our infrastructure needs to be improved and the latest research from the Confederation of British Industry suggests our business leaders share this view.

According to the research, major investment is needed to help the UK bounce back from current weak economic conditions. The report suggests that investment in infrastructure such as Britain’s road and rail networks, digital, waste and energy would ensure we remain internationally competitive and would kick-start UK growth.

The findings highlight what the UK needs to succeed, however with the Government deep in the midst of wide reaching spending cuts, it is safe to say that essential investment on projects other than those that have already been ring-fenced, seems unlikely in the immediate future. 

Of those surveyed, 58% rate the UK’s infrastructure worse than other EU countries when judged on quality, value for money and reliability. According to the poll, just 26% of firms saw the UK as favourable for infrastructure investment.

The results of the report are somewhat worrying, but sadly predictable. With potential investors harbouring major doubts over the UK’s infrastructure, how can we expect to attract investment from international companies wanting to expand their operations, or keep organisations that have already set up here?

Furthermore, 89% of those surveyed were worried about the security of energy supply over the next ten years and a staggering 95% were concerned about the rising cost of energy over the next five years.

With regards to energy prices, wholesale prices are rising across the globe. It is up to organisations effected by these rises to address energy efficiency within their respective organisations, however when combined with the list of other worries, it doesn’t bode well for the UK.

The report is a damning incitement of the UK government failing to recognise what is needed to make the UK an attractive place to do business. Currently the government is more concerned with lowering our national debt than protecting UK business interests and providing the tools and means to attract investment.

Much more investment is needed, otherwise the pot-holes in our policies will take the wheels off our economic recovery.


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