Midland manufacturers have thrown down the gauntlet to the Government to provide crucial leadership on growth – and get the economy firmly back on track.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has challenged the Coalition to end its ‘inconsistent’ approach to growth, by outlining a clearer plan for the economy and a long-term industrial strategy to deliver it.
In a new report, The Route to Growth: a new approach to Industrial Strategy, EEF argues that progress towards a better-balanced economy has stalled because the Government has yet to demonstrate the same relentless approach that it has done on reducing the deficit.
EEF Midlands director, Richard Halstead, said: “We all know that we need stronger growth built on firmer foundations, but the economy and re-balancing have hit the buffers. We will only get back on track if the Government demonstrates the same clarity and single-mindedness on growth that it has done on reducing the deficit.
“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 sets out some simple benchmarks to measure progress – just as on deficit reduction.
“To do this we need a new economy-wide industrial strategy for achieving stronger, better-balanced growth. This must become the definitive statement of Government’s economic intentions and the guiding principle for every policy and spending decision from now to the election and beyond.”
In its report EEF highlights the consensus that has emerged on the need for a new UK economic model, based on trade and investment rather than on consumption and borrowing. “The Government has put its neck on the block on the deficit and there should also be no hiding place on growth either. We need the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to hold Ministers’ feet to the fire on growth.”