The departing head of the country's biggest business group accused the Government today of failing to put forward its vision for the economy.
Sir Richard Lambert, who stands down as director general of the CBI on Friday, said business supported the "ruthless" approach to spending cuts.
But in his last major speech, Sir Richard said the Government had not been so consistent and focused on its plans for economic growth.
"It's failed to articulate in big picture terms its vision of what the UK economy might become under its stewardship.
"And it's taken a series of policy initiatives for political reasons, apparently careless of the damage they might do to business and to job creation."
Sir Richard said ministers were yet to set out a vision of what a successful growing economy would look like.
"The growth White Paper that was expected last autumn never materialised, and the impression was given that there simply weren't enough good ideas around to justify such a publication.
"Rather than a big picture of the kind of economic eco-system the Government wants to champion, we are left with a few rather vague ideas about the scope supporting a number of predictable sectors, and the promise that more ideas will be forthcoming at the time of the spring budget.
"When it comes to micro policy initiatives, politics appear to have trumped economics on too many occasions over the past eight months."
Sir Richard, who has been in the post for four-and-a-half years, said the Business Department had been "understandably preoccupied" with the "dramas" of higher education, adding: "Perhaps it is time for a hard look at the role of the Department of Business.
"We need a department that is seriously knowledgeable about everyday business needs.
"Less of a talking shop, more of an action-oriented growth champion."
Sir Richard told a news conference in London that the national debate about banking was now moving to a "better place", but he remained worried about the availability of credit to small firms.
Smaller companies were overly-dependent on a small number of banks for short-term finance and policy should be directed at widening the range of choice, he said.
Sir Richard called for some "bold initiatives" and spoke out in favour of a green investment bank to boost investment in power generation.Reuse content