Growth figures out this week confirm that two years after one of the worst recessions in its history, the British economy is flatlining.
The government says there's no alternative to radical surgery.
The opposition warns that the patient risks dying on the operating table.
HARDtalk's Carrie Gracie talks to John Cridland, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which represents the private sector employers who hold the fate of the government and the economy in their hands.
Can they deliver jobs, exports and long term growth?