At the Federation of Bakers conference last week, John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, told the 100 delegates: "We predict 0.1% growth for the British economy next year, not 1.25% like the government."

He highlighted the main problem areas for businesses as being trade credit insurance to cover the supply of goods to customers and the fact that investment has been scaled back by about 9%. He said: "Globally this is the most uncertain economy in decades, and there is still a long way to go. But the British government needs to get its act together."

Cridland’s remedies were that the government should tackle public debt and issue a coherent plan. "It needs to show how it will tackle public sector pay and pensions. It must also remedy the fact that credit flow to business is still not getting through in many cases."

And he highlighted some successes achieved by the CBI, including the 48-hour working week opt-out, and pointed out that over 50% of our regulations come from Brussels. The CBI is non-party political.