Tony Burke, assistant general secretary for the country’s biggest union, Unite, today accused the government of instigating a “cruel hoax” with Chancellor Osborne’s promise of a “march of the makers.”
Speaking at the TUC Congress in Brighton, Mr Burke said that the government is failing to take the action necessary to deliver on the promise of new jobs in manufacturing. “As a result the UK economy remains in the doldrums. This was all too vividly shown last week when the OECD predicted UK GDP would shrink by 0.7% this year.”
Burke accused the government of, “presiding over a slide towards ‘part time Britain’ and condemning millions of people to unemployment and under-employment” rather than delivering the growth strategy it promised on coming to power.
Burke calls for a “real industrial strategy with targeted support for small and medium sized companies.” He suggests that a British Investment Bank and a review of government procurement practices could be the answer to manufacturing stagnation.
Comparing the UK’s approach to industrial development to that adopted in Germany, Burked observed “In Germany they don’t leave their long-term future to chance. Instead they invest in technology, research and skills, as well as medium sized companies and importantly people. This active industrial approach has allowed them to deliver the growing economy that the UK so desperately needs.”
Burke says Unite supports a resurrection of Britain as ‘the Workshop of the World.’