Asda chief executive Andy Clarke has called on government to simplify planning legislation quickly to create a “turning point” for UK growth.
Clarke expressed frustration at the “bureaucracy” which is preventing UK businesses from developing and making 2012 a success in an interview with the ITV News Business Club which will broadcast tonight.
He said: “I sit on the CBI infrastructure group and a lot of the plans for infrastructure which will affect the construction industry aren’t coming through until 2013/14. So OK, there are some good plans, but speed is really important.
“If you want to make 2012 a success and a turning point for growth then we need some speed, some innovation and that’ll come through simplicity.”
He added: “We’ve got to find smarter ways of working together just to simplify and remove beaurocracy.”
The Asda boss called on businesses to work with government “rather than expecting government to make all the decisions” to turn the UK economy’s fortunes around.
Clarke said Asda is taking a “positive position on growth” and that the Olympics, European Championships and the Diamond Jubilee offer a “market opportunity for businesses to grasp” in 2012.
Clarke – who will appear on the panel alongside Wetherspoons chairman Tim Martin, chief executive of NatWest and RBS corporate banking Chris Sullivan and Lloyds of London chief executive Richard Ward among others – said job security fears is causing customers to be risk averse.
He said: “Today you read the papers and there are businesseses that appear to be in difficulty still and you’re talking in headline terms of those businesses in difficulty, not the thousands of people that work for them that are potentially sitting at home worrying about the effects of it.”