CBI chief criticizes Thatcherism, ‘free market failure’ and other plighting practices. He complains that PM has not given enough information on how he would ‘Level up’ the country.

  • Tony Danker of CBI stated that since 1980s, governments had allowed “old industries” to die.
  • Danker claimed that communities left behind are doomed because of ‘benign negligence’
  • Reported that the PM had given “very little” detail on Levelling Up plans 

CBI head launches scathing attack on Thatcherism, ‘free-market failure’ today, claiming it has caused wide swathes to fall in decline.

Tony Danker, Director General, stated that governments let “old industries die” since 1980s. This has led to a deterioration in communities due to ‘benign neglect”.

He claimed that Johnson has not provided enough information on his plans for ‘Leveling Up’ the country so far, describing the decision to cut key lines of HS2 or Northern Powerhouse as ‘disappointing.

These comments were made as PM delivered a long speech at the South Shields conference, where he once again avoided describing his policies.   

Tony Danker, Director General of Confederation of British Industry Conference will speak to the Confederation of British Industry conference. He said that since 1980s successive governments had let ‘old industry die’ and the communities have been facing ‘benign neglect.

According to Mr Danker, business leaders need to hear that economic growth is what the UK should be doing. This will lead to higher-paying jobs and more skilled work. It also creates a positive circle which helps places prosper.

‘The truth is that the UK long suffered from de-industrialisation. Since the 1980s, we let old industries die – offering little more than benign neglect for what got left behind – it was an economic policy that was at best ambivalent about levelling down.

“We are too relaxed about the potential brain drain that young people will leave their home in search of better jobs and wages. 

“Wages are higher in the South then the North. Multinational corporations are overwhelmingly concentrated in South East, where the new industries flourish. High streets were abandoned in cities and towns.

These are the consequences of living for so many decades. Now we have the chance to redeem ourselves, and a chance for rebirth with emerging industries like space and biotech.

“Even more with net zero which provides a unique opportunity for the UK’s industrial heartlands, to lead this new industrial revolution just as they led the previous.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Danker said the premier had given ‘very little’ detail about how he will revive regional economies outside the South East.

He stated that there has been much talk about politics and mayors as well as how high street look.

“What is the Government not doing yet? How do they get more people into better jobs and get better skilled workers, and how can we make the North East as a center of economic activity, as well as the South, as it has been?”

He swiped that Mr Johnson had so far given 'very little' detail on how he plans to 'Level Up' the country - branding the axing of key HS2 and Northern Powerhouse lines 'disappointing'

He said that Johnson had not given much detail about how he would ‘Level Up’ his country so far, and branded the decision to cut key lines of HS2 or Northern Powerhouse ‘disappointing.

It is not an easy task for the government, and they cannot do it all alone.

“But, we haven’t heard much from the Prime Minister or the Government on how we can do that. That’s why I’m hoping we will talk today.” 

CBI is often seen as championing the free-market economy. Mr Danker’s speech will likely anger Margaret Thatcher’s acolytes.

As Prime Minister Johnson, he has placed ‘levelling up the North’ at the center of his policy. The Tories have been credited for gaining a number of Red Wall seats in the 2019 general elections.

Previous employers include McKinsey Business Consulting, Treasury and The Guardian Newspaper.