A lack of real-world commercial experience among Britain's political class is holding back the country's businesses, according to a survey of FTSE 100 firms' chairmen and women.
The survey, conducted by Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann, the world's largest executive search and talent management consultancy, found 89% of respondents think UK politicians are a drag on the country's commercial potential.
"It seems clear that something needs to be done to tap into the business expertise available in order to improve the political decision-making process around issues affecting the economy and the wider business world" said Dominic Schofield, senior client partner at Korn/Ferry.
One chairman claimed that "decision-making in the government is slower than ever".
Another said that the "standard of political assistance to businesses is truly appalling and the major parties should 'sub-contract' this element to tried and tested business professionals (retired if necessary)."
There was optimism about the UK's burgeoning economic recovery, however. Of the 34 respondents surveyed in July, 61% agreed that the current putative recovery is sustainable.
The UK economy has seen a slow acceleration of growth since the beginning of 2013. It grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, before picking up to 0.6% in the subsequent three months.
As a result, confidence is building among British firms. In Deloitte's quarterly survey of chief financial officers (CFOs), 45% of respondents opined that it is time to put more risk on their company's balance sheets. The survey shows that risk appetite among CFOs is now at the highest level in six years.
The Q2 report also found that only 34% of CFOs think cost-cutting is a priority, down from 42% in the quarter before.
Researcher BDRC Continental said 21% of the 500 British firms surveyed in its monthly Business Horizons study - which asks businesses to categorise themselves as forging ahead, progressing steadily, coping cautiously, or hard hit - reported that they were "forging ahead" in June, up from just 13% in May.
One of the first major pieces of data to emerge from the third quarter shows manufacturing sector output hitting a 28-month high in July.
Rising production, strengthening of new orders growth, increasing export orders, and cost inflation rising below the average rate all pushed the Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) to 54.6 in July, up from June's 52.9 and the best reading since February 2011.