CBI director general Sir Digby Jones last night launched a ferocious attack on the planning laws, claiming environmental concerns were placed ahead of jobs.
The great crested newt was deemed more important than economic success, said Sir Digby (pictured). And he complained that the Government had failed to rectify the balance.
Before his speech to the CBI West Midlands Summer Banquet at Birmingham University's Great Hall last night, Sir Digby said: "We are talking about a set of rules established in 1947 designed to look after and regulate policy in another time - not the Britain of 2006.
"They are opaque, slow, inconsistent, expensive and a real drag on productivity.
"The pendulum has swung too far in favour of the environmentalists. The time has come to say that the great crested newt should come second to people's jobs."
Sir Digby also repeated his criticism that secondary schools were "failing the country" and not equipping young people for work.
But Sir Digby, who steps down from his post after nearly seven years, praised Labour: "It was not the Tories who gave us ten per cent capital gains tax and an independent Bank of England."
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