General Election 2015: Deloitte chief executive David Sproul wants a pro-business leader who will invest in infrastructure

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Sproul: "Businesses see hostile policy as their greatest concern" (Source: Deloitte)

Election countdown: 1 day to go

Every day until the final week of the election campaign, we ask a business leader to say what policies would entice them to vote for a particular party.

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive, Deloitte UK

Business has led the recovery in recent years, but this cannot be taken for granted. We need an environment that enables business to grow, invest and export, supporting the path to recovery and improving productivity. I’d vote for a government which:
  • Creates a stable and predictable environment for big business. We saw in our latest quarterly CFO Survey that businesses see political risks and potentially hostile policy as their greatest concern. Already their appetite for risk and capital spending has dropped, which does not bode well for corporate spending and a continued business-led recovery.
  • Provides dedicated support for medium-sized businesses. Deloitte’s research shows that the 1,000 fastest-growing businesses (with turnovers between £30m and £1bn, two-thirds of which are based outside of London) generated £158 billion in revenues in a year, grew employment by 182,000 in three years and now contribute 9.2 per cent of UK GDP. Rebalancing the economy and greater prosperity will be heavily influenced by their continued success.
  • Invests in UK infrastructure. By 2019-20 the UK will spend just 1.2% of GDP on infrastructure and the World Economic Forum now ranks the UK 27th in the world for quality of its infrastructure. This is well behind key international competitors. Improving this is crucial to boosting the UK’s lagging productivity.
  • Relentlessly bangs the drum for British businesses abroad. A Deloitte survey of large UK corporates last year found that by 2017, they expect to be generating £486bn more revenue from overseas markets than they did in 2014. Yet the UK is underweight in some of the key target markets.
  • Focuses on skills and education, building a workforce strong in innovation, creative thinking and complex problem solving. We predicted last year that, through automation, 35per cent of UK jobs could disappear within 20 years. We need to be ready for this and plan now to create, and fill, the jobs of the future.
Visit our General Election poll tracker to see how the polls changed in the build-up to election day. 

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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