Confidence in infrastructure plans “ebbing away”

Business confidence in the Government’s plans for infrastructure is “ebbing away” according to a new survey from the CBI and KPMG which found a majority see the infrastructure of our […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Business confidence in the Government’s plans for infrastructure is “ebbing away” according to a new survey from the CBI and KPMG which found a majority see the infrastructure of our European neighbours is better.

Although energy costs have a “particularly important” bearing on investment for more than 90% of companies in the manufacturing sector, according to the survey, the UK is losing ground on its closest competitors, as more than 60% of companies judge infrastructure elsewhere in the EU to be better than our own.

The results should give the Government pause for thought, as it has recently been accused of leaving investors in the dark over future energy policy.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General said: “Whether it’s aviation capacity, electricity markets or funding our roads, the Government needs to take some big decisions which will have a major, lasting impact on inward investment and businesses’ ability to compete overseas.”

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of companies think the UK’s infrastructure is less favourable than elsewhere in the EU and over two-fifths (43%) say it is worse than in other developed economies outside the EU.

Richard Threlfall, KPMG UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction, said: “Business confidence in our infrastructure appears to be ebbing away. The key issue is how quickly can recent policy announcements translate into investment on the ground.”

The survey questioned 568 business leaders during June and July.