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Focus on growth, not just deficit

Richard Milne
Financial Times
12 May 2010

Video interview 

Colm Reilly, head of the government practice at PA Consulting Group, gave his views on what the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat government will mean for business, and what its key priorities should be.

Colm calls not just for deficit reduction, but for a balanced approach, one which focuses on managing the deficit as well as building an economy that can grow out of the deficit. Colm says: “The focus on debt we have had during the election campaign is right and important as we need to fix that structural issue. However, while it is important to focus on debt reduction, we have to grow the economy as well.

“Our companies have to be able to export as this will absorb the excess capacity we have in the economy.  While we need to fix the debt issue, we must not compromise the conditions for growth.”

Colm goes on to point out that there is an opportunity for the economy to rebalance: “We need to move away from a construction and finance ethos and to one which is focused around new sectors, ones which will have global importance. Growth in medicine is set to continue as well as in clean tech, carbon technology and new energy. We must use the skills which have made us successful in the past and adapt them to these new sectors.” 

Colm is also asked about cuts in the private sector. Colm predicts: “We will see some necessary cuts in the public sector as we’ve got to rebalance the deficit.  However, the way our economy has evolved means that the links between public and private sector have become much more profound.  We need to look at the whole supply chain and at the impact any deficit cuts will have on the private, as well as the public, sector.”

Finally, Colm gives his view on the debate around consultancy cuts: “Across the economy in general there is a search for value.  Consultants alongside other service providers, such as the legal profession, are going to have to figure out what their value add contribution is.  At PA we are comfortable with this challenge, and have been delivering value add for the last 20 years.”

You can view a summary of Colm's views, alongside interviews with the Confederation of British Industry and Capital Economics, here.

For a more detailed response from Colm, click here.

You can read Colm’s views on the restoration of sustainable growth in The Times here


To visit PA’s government and public services pages, click here.

To find out about PA's expertise on being Fit For the Future, click here.

To find out about PA's views on the Zombie Economy, click here.

To visit PA's pages on strategy consulting, click here.

 

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