Maiden speech

CBI chief Danker calls for 1945-style vision

Tony Danker

Tony Danker: ‘we need a vision’ he told the Bloomberg event

Britain must plan a vision for the next decade that is based more on the reconstruction set out in 1945 than the financial crash of 2008, according to the CBI’s new leader.

In his first key speech since becoming director general, Tony Danker called for a national economic vision and strategy designed around the “triple shocks” of Brexit, COVID-19 and climate change .

Together they highlight the need for business and government to design an economic strategy for the next ten years, he told a virtual audience of business, political and civil society leaders, organised by Bloomberg.

“It may seem that to talk now of the decade ahead is misplaced. But I think it’s what the crisis demands. 

“Build Back Better is easy to say but it is much harder to do. It needs a vision, a plan and a consensus as a nation to pursue it.

“I don’t think we did that after 2008.”

He added: “We stabilised the economic system immediately. Then for the long run, we stabilised the public finances. And we achieved modest economic growth.  

“But our productivity growth flatlined. And our society divided rather than united. 

“So, what will we take from this crisis?  Where, in our darkest times, have we made real shifts for the better?

“Most notably – of course – in the aftermath of the Second World War, when post-war reconstruction gave birth to the NHS and the creation of the welfare state.

“Let’s be clear. The scale of the shocks we’re facing today – Brexit, Covid, and the Climate imperative – demand a similarly dramatic moment of unity and foresight.”

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