For many years, the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy has been denied.
Manufacturers have battled admirably to cope with the onslaught of competition from low cost economies and the neglect of successive governments.
At last, the Government and leading opposition parties have woken up to the fact that our economy cannot be based on services alone. Manufacturing is not yet a spent force and we believe it could take a higher share than its current 13.5 per cent of GDP.
UK manufacturing has come to be characterised by three core values: diversity, agility and innovation. We call on the leading political parties to help manufacturing to flourish in the future by:
– setting out a clear plan for manufacturing to represent 17.5 per cent of GDP within five years
– using nationalised banks to better support the sector through more enlightened risk sharing
– providing tax and incentives to enable UK manufacturing to stay at the cutting edge of research innovation
Manufacturing has been battered and bruised and is once again on the ropes. Manufacturing is part of Britain’s DNA – it is vital to the economy and it has played a crucial role in bringing together many communities up and down the country. It can still fight back and aid economic recovery, but only if future Governments make it a priority rather than an afterthought.
We, the undersigned, call on the leading political parties to give UK manufacturing the support it deserves in their election manifestos.
Tom Lawton, Head of Manufacturing, BDO LLP
BDO are delighted to support the “manufacturing week” established by the EEF, the manufacturers organisation.