EEF reveals growth plan

Posted on 22 Oct 2010 by The Manufacturer

Ahead of a speech from David Cameron today on the subject of growth, EEF has outlined a ten point plan for creating a strategic partnership between government and industry.

The manufacturers’ organisation says the private sector is ready to rise to the challenge of leading the UK back to growth but needs support from government in investing in production capacity, providing a supporting framework which addresses ‘broken’ areas, and identifying and investing in the areas which will support private sector growth.

“The Government has taken a major step forward by clarifying its tax and spending plans to reduce the deficit. But we must build on this now by developing a plan for growth,” says EEF director of policy Steve Radley.

“Business has already started to drive growth forward by increasing investment, expanding exports and creating new jobs. The government can now help industry to sustain this by setting out a framework that explains clearly how it will work with the private sector to grow our economy.”

Called ‘Plan A’, EEF’s ten point plan is:

Government to become a strategic partner with industry.

1. Understand the contributions to growth from different sectors of the economy. Develop a Framework for manufacturing that lays the foundations for supporting better balanced growth.

2. Catalyse private sector investment. Take the first step with scarce resources to secure private sector commitment and investment to future growth.

3. Be a collaborative customer to develop industrial capabilities. Government must engage early with the private sector about its future priorities and needs.

Provide a stable and predictable business environment

4. Sub-national structures that deliver for communities and businesses. Be clear about what LEPs will do, how they will operate and how they will be funded and give them a chance to deliver.

5. A competitive and predictable tax system. Provide clear signals and policy rationale for future reforms of corporate, environmental and personal taxes.

6. Reducing the regulatory burden. Pursue alternatives to regulation and move quickly from a system of ’one-in-one-out’ to regulatory budgets

7. Focused and coordinated business support. Recognise that businesses aiming for transformational growth need support and provide clarity on which support programmes will continue to be funded.

Invest in parallel with the private sector

8. Improving access to finance for SMEs. Facilitate dialogue to improve business – bank relationships; increase competition and improve the effective of existing government-backed schemes.

9. A Bank for green investments. Build a fund with sufficient capital to make investments in low carbon infrastructure and technologies.

10. Supporting investment in skills, innovation and infrastructure. Headline spending totals have been outlined, but details on specific priorities must shortly follow along with the necessary reforms to the mechanisms and agencies which deploy the funding.

EEF’s plan comes ahead of next month’s eagerly awaited Manufacturing Framework which will outline how government will help manufacturing lead the nest stage of the UK’s economic recovery.