By Martin Kelly
UK Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to boost the flagging UK economy has not persuaded UK businesses who believe that critical infrastructure areas are set to worsen.
Two thirds of businesses now believe that the areas of transport and energy are set to deteriorate over the next five years.
A survey by the CBI and KPMG found that 73% of UK businesses are not confident that transport infrastructure will improve in the next five years while 67% of businesses are not confident that UK energy infrastructure will improve in the same period.
In addition, 95% of businesses are worried about the impact of rising energy costs.
The survey results are a blow to UK Chancellor George Osborne who has consistently failed to heed calls for more investment in infrastructure.
The SNP responded to the latest figures by claiming they showed a lack of confidence in the UK Government’s infrastructure policies.
SNP MSP Maureen Watt who convenes the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, attacked Mr Osborne’s continued refusal to invest in the shovel-ready infrastructure projects the SNP Government has consistently called for.
Commenting, Ms Watt said:
“With George Osborne seemingly the only person left in the UK who opposes investing in infrastructure to boost our economy, it is no wonder that businesses are getting increasingly concerned.
“The fact that they have little confidence that infrastructure will improve can only be taken as a sign that they believe George Osborne will continue to fail to make the capital investment necessary to get the economy moving.
“It has been apparent for a long time that George Osborne is working from flawed plans, but with businesses, economists and the IMF all recently turning on him, it is clear that the foundations beneath his policies are crumbling.
“How much longer can he continue to be the man responsible for holding back economic growth? It is long past time he shifted course and accepted that he has got it wrong.
“Instead of Scotland’s economy being held back by obstruction from Westminster, we need the powers of an independent Scotland so that decisions on how to grow our economy are no longer kept out of the hands of the people Scotland elects.”
They survey follows a report published by the ONS last week that showed activity in the UK construction sector to July this year was down 10.1% compared with the same period last year.