Government’s industrial strategy ‘hits the buffers’ – EEF

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Manufacturers have called on the government to end its inconsistent approach to growth by putting in place a long-term industrial strategy.

In a new report published today (10 September), 'The Route to Growth: a new approach to Industrial Strategy', the manufacturers' organisation EEF argues that progress towards a better-balanced economy has stalled because the government has yet to demonstrate the same relentless and clear-sighted approach to growth that it has done on reducing the deficit. EEF's chief executive, Terry Scuoler (pictured), said the economy and re-balancing had hit the buffers. "Business is seeking certainty to invest, but too often it is left with the impression that government is responding to events, rather than leading on growth. This will not change until government is clear about its economic ambitions and setsout some simple benchmarks to measure progress – just as on deficit reduction." The report points out that a modern industrial strategy should focus on measures to help the widest number of companies seeking to grow by investing and exporting. To achieve this, EEF suggests that four economic ambitions should be adopted. * More companies bringing products and services to market * A lower cost of doing business in the UK * More globally focused companies expanding in the UK e.g. the number of companies with 25% or more of turnover coming from exports will increase * A more productive and flexible labour market Scuoler added: "This shouldn't be a plan for picking winners; it should be about creating the right environment for any company seeking to grow through investment and exports."