Some important issues were raised at Wednesdays All Party Parliamentary Group on rebalancing sectorally. Speakers included EEF's Chief Executive Terry Scuoler, Professor David Bailey from the University of Coventry, Dr Elizabeth Garnsey from the University of Cambridge and Lord Peter Mandelson.
Together the panel provided a stimulating contribution to the debate on how the government can support the manufacturing sector and rebalancing. Some of the issues discussed included
- Raising capital intensity in the manufacturing sector through- Recalibrating the financial model to improve access to finance with a particular focus on improving availability of finance for small and medium sized businesses.- Improving capital allowances to encourage more investment.
- Focusing tax incentives and government support on high growth sectors, areas where the UK has a comparative advantage and exporting.
- Increasing commitment to building and maintaining our comparative advantage in knowledge, specialisation, innovation and skills.
- Developing an intelligent focus on supply chains to improve the UKs ability to compete globally.
- Establishing a clear and pervasive commitment by the Government to a growth strategy with measurable indicators to track success.
The top priority for the government should perhaps be the last item for two simple reasons
- a clear plan for growth will lay the foundation from which the other issues can considered and actions implemented, and
- a clear plan for growth will provide the business community with some measure of certainty in an environment plagued by uncertainty.