Manufacturers favour Tories to support UK industry

Manufacturers trust Conservatives more than Labour or Liberal Democrats when introducing policies supporting UK manufacturing, an IMechE and BDO survey has revealed.

The Engineered in Britain: Manufacturing a Successful Economy? 2014 report revealed 40% of 1,000 manufacturers and 1,000 members of the public thought the Conservatives had the best policies to support UK manufacturing.

Just over a quarter felt no political parties had the right answer, 5% favoured Labour and 3% backed the Liberal Democrats.

The annual study also revealed that 58% of manufacturers thought government was performing well on the economy, up from 31% last year. 26% of manufacturers said government was making progress on manufacturing policy, a 9% increase on last year’s study.

President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Patrick Kniveton, said: “A strong manufacturing base is crucial to building a resilient UK economy and it shows that government policies to introduce competitive corporate tax rates, cut red tape and encourage R&D, are working.

“However, a shortage of engineers could hamper this sector’s future.

“It is hugely worrying that 89 per cent of manufacturers polled said that the UK is not producing enough engineers and there is clearly much more that could be done to promote science, engineering and manufacturing in schools.”

Tom Lawton, Head of Manufacturing at BDO LLP, said: ‘We would very much like to see a long term cross party strategic framework established for manufacturing to help provide a firmer and clearer structure for the many manufacturing initiatives and to continue these beyond the term of a single parliament.”

The poll of manufacturers is conducted by MSS and the public poll by ICM, both on behalf of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and BDO LLP.