Amid political turmoil over Scotland, it is easy to forget that another hotly anticipated democratic change is looming on the horizon. Next year’s general election is just 8 months away and, regardless of the outcome, there are concerns over the impact it could have on our ambition for a strong, stable, rebalanced British economy.
The stakes are high. The election comes at a critical time for the UK’s economic recovery - we cannot afford to lose direction or pace. This is why, to the election and beyond, we will be stressing the pressing need for balanced growth and the key role our sector has to play in underpinning it.
We are going to be calling on all parties to put delivering a long-term strategy for growth at the top of their agenda for government. Better-balanced growth must be our 2020 destination.
This is not industry talking in isolation - voters also want to see it. After the harsh economic lessons of recent years, people in Britain want long-term plans for protecting and building upon the economic recovery to be centre stage during the election campaign. Almost eight in ten (79%) say this is important.
Our YouGov research also shows that over six in ten (63%) want to see Britain enjoying a better-balanced economy – mainly because they can see the benefit of the long-term security and resilience it would provide.
In a real vote of confidence for our sector, an overwhelming 85% want the next Government to promote a stronger UK manufacturing base, believing it will deliver more jobs, economic growth and prosperity. Manufacturing is in fact the sector consumers most want to see grow.
Manufacturing is the sector consumers most want to see grow
Source: EEF YouGov poll 2014
Industry and voters are singing from the same hymn sheet - which gives political leaders even more reason to hear what we have to say. Our message to them is simple: a strong, rebalanced economy has to be the long-term end goal and at the heart of your election offering. Now is not the time for Britain to lose its way.