Ex-treasury minister says policymakers scared to boost UK investment

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Lord Jim O’Neill has stated that businesses now need encouragement to see beyond balance sheets.

O’Neil, who led a recent review of investment and business policy for the UK shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeve, was commercial secretary to the Treasury during David Cameron’s term as PM. He commented that policymakers in the UK are “petrified” when it comes to taking chances to move the nation forward from the cycle of low growth it is trapped in. He added that while funding for Britain’s start-up scene is vital, investment is necessary for the overall economy to improve.

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In an article published in the Independent, the former treasury minister explained:

“We need to get the private sector, both domestic and international companies, eager to invest in more facilities for all their businesses, instead of the seemingly endless focus on managing their balance sheets and cash flow retention.”

He highlighted the need for investment in key areas of UK infrastructure, including new types of clean energy technology, preventative health solutions and transport in urban areas of the country on par with options available in the capital. He added that while UK policymakers agree with his views, they seem scared of making changes due to the constraints of Britain’s financial health at present.

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