Amongst a speech mainly aimed at rural growth, Caroline Spelman Secretary of State for Defra, also spoke about the need for ‘green growth'. She spoke about the savings that could be untapped – to the sum of £23billion – but there is no mention of the support that should be given to business to achieve this. It is one thing knowing there is a saving to be made, it is quite another thing to know how to make these savings. We fully support this agenda but more needs to be done to help unlock these opportunities rather than keep going with the current policies that add costs to UK manufacturing that hinder UK investment – policies her peer Charles Hendry Minister of State at DECC is pursuing.
It is not just about creating ‘green' jobs in the changing energy generation portfolio and keeping costs low for consumers, it is also about keeping those manufacturing jobs that produce these low carbon technologies and fostering them so they can grow. Increasing costs on UK production - that other competing countries do not have to endure - does not achieve this.
So in order to make ‘Made in Britain' matter, we need to ensure we have the right conditions to make this a reality; otherwise we just end up with more ‘Made in China'.