CBI director general Digby Jones said on the BBC’s Today programme that the government department had not done enough to help business and in the past had even hindered it.
‘The DTI did nothing to help jobs in the UK when it went off on this rip-off Britain campaign,’ said Jones.
Jones reckons the crusade to drive down prices for British consumers did more harm than good and generated the feeling that the DTI wasn’t on business’ side.
‘We feel the DTI is the one department that has the opportunity to push the wealth creation message inside government and inside the cabinet,’ he said.
But Jones said the CBI was so far happy with the appointment of trade minister Patricia Hewitt. He said, however, that he hoped the new secretary of state would champion business interests in government.
The criticism came as part of the CBI’s response to a review of the DTI’s structure. The business body took the opportunity to suggest that the DTI had been shy to ‘take on’ other Whitehall departments on issues such as the climate change levy.
And Jones was insistent that the department should remain in government.
‘It’s important that within the democratically elected government that the business message is pushed forward. We do need something in government that can do the job,’ he said.
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