// The Institute of Directors said a survey showed fewer than 1/4 were optimistic about prospects for the coming 12 months
// IoD said the gov’t should publish, even in outline, the stages that the UK would go through to re-open the economy
Company directors are “clamouring ” for information about how the economy is going to be reopened, amid pessimism over their future prospects beyond the lockdown, according to a new report.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) said a survey of more than 1000 business leaders about their organisation’s prospects over the coming 12 months showed fewer than one in four were optimistic.
The IoD said the figures should encourage the government to publish, even in outline, the stages that the UK would go through to re-open the economy.
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Its members – directors of organisations of all sizes, including retailers – were clamouring for information, the IoD said.
“Over the last few days the clamour from our members for information on how and when coronavirus-related restrictions will begin to lift has increased substantially,” IoD director general Jon Geldart said.
“Directors from all parts of the UK need to make plans for riding out this tempest, but they can’t get very far if they have no idea what will be happening in a few weeks time.
“The government faces a near-impossible task in protecting the nation’s health while also thinking about how to let businesses restart.
“Directors do not in any way want to be reckless, quite the opposite.
“They want to know how they can get going again safely in a way that supports efforts to make sure the virus is kept under control.
“It’s in everyone’s interests to get the economy off life support when it’s safe to do so.
“Business leaders know this will not happen all in one go, but that’s why it’s even more important to tell them what they need to prepare for.”
A government spokesman said: “The Business Secretary continues to meet regularly with representatives from all sectors, business organisations and trade unions.
“The government has already set out five clear tests to consider before making any adjustment to its approach.
“It is only right that we work together with industry and unions to ensure workplaces are safe for both those in work now and for those going back to work as government measures develop.”
with PA Wires