CBI president attacks 'sense of entitlement'

The president of the CBI has warned that Britons need to shed their "sense of entitlement" if the economy is to recover. Speaking at the employer body's annual conference in London, Sir Roger Carr argued that people in the UK are experiencing a "cultural cold shower" thanks to rising global competition.

"Most of us... have grown up in the West with a sense of entitlement – to jobs, opportunity, wealth," he said. "What's happening all around us is a cultural cold shower, a move from entitlement, a recognition that things have changed, nothing is by right: we have to earn our place in a vigorously competitive world as individuals and as nations."

At the conference (which was sponsored by, among others, Barclays Corporate), Sir Roger also said that the "demonisation" of sectors of industry, including banking, was doing harm to the economy. He said: "We need to encourage all those in positions of authority – government, opposition, regulators and commentators – to stop the demonisation of industry: banking, energy or defence."

Sir Roger conceded that the banks and the energy sectors need to reform. "There is more to do," he said. "The banks to lend more, particularly to small companies; the energy companies to give more in tariff transparency and customer advice".

Sir Roger also said that the Government should stick to its plan to eliminate the structural deficit by 2015. He said: "We don't want the Government to give up its resolve on financial discipline. It remains the cornerstone on which recovery can be built. It enables low interest rates to support demand at home and competitive currency rates to drive exports abroad." He added: "However chilly the wind, it remains preferable to the icy blast of a collapse in international confidence."

The CBI president also urged the government to resist "short-term populism" when dealing with industry: "By all means, punish where appropriate, legislate where necessary, criticise the shortcomings when warranted. But base these actions on an objective assessment of the country's long-term best interests, not short-term populism."

He added that ministers should not be afraid to "celebrate" successful business leaders, pointing to "the renaissance of the car industry, the achievement of aerospace, the world-class status of our IP and technology industries in the Silicon Fens."

At the same conference, David Cameron admitted that growth in the UK has been "slow" since the Coalition took power last year. "Getting debt under control is proving harder than anyone envisaged" he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living