Danny McCance 22 Aug 2017 04:28pm

Campbell says "buzzwords" won't help drive productivity

Ross Campbell, ICAEW public sector director, has called for Philip Hammond to end inaction and to stop making “empty promises” and using “buzzwords”

The comments were made in reaction to the public sector finances for July 2017, released today by the office for National Statistics (ONS).

The latest figures found that this year-to-date the government has borrowed £22.8bn, a £1.9bn increase on the same period last year.

“The UK economy desperately needs economic growth and too much time is spent talking rather than getting on with the job in hand,” said Campbell.

“Instead of productivity becoming a buzzword used by the chancellor to hide inaction it’s time to see some real work to inject optimism into an economy that continues to slow.

“To date, too few projects have lifted off the ground, and instead of empty promises, government now has an obligation to taxpayers to invest in infrastructure projects that will drive economic growth,” Campbell added.

On Wednesday, flash estimates from ONS suggested that UK productivity has continued to drop in the past three months following a significant fall in Q1.

“Businesses must start seeing reasons to invest in tech, training and development as well as new products and services,” Campbell warned.

“September should be decision time for Philip Hammond. Businesses are in the midst of weighing up where they are best located in a world where the UK will not be part of the EU.

“The chancellor now needs to convince taxpayers and businesses that there is a long term vision,” she added.

Last week, the business community welcomed the government’s proposals for a future customs relationship with the EU that is as frictionless and borderless as possible.

Meanwhile, a survey found that the UK’s chief financial officers trust more in Mark Carney to lead the country through the Brexit negotiations than they did in Theresa May and her team.