Britain's growth plan has hit buffers, says industry - Business News - Business - The Independent

Britain's growth plan has hit buffers, says industry

Engineers' leaders attack muddled policy and mixed messages from ministers

Britain's manufacturers are stepping up the pressure on the Government to do more to help the economy, saying that current plans have "hit the buffers".

The EEF trade body wants ministers to end their inconsistent approach to growth, by outlining a clearer plan for the future. It has drawn up its own industrial strategy that it says will enable more companies to bring products to market, a lower cost of doing business, more globally focused firms expanding in Britain and a more flexible workforce.

The manufacturers' organisation is frustrated by mixed messages from the Government that have confused its members, many of whom are foreign-owned. It hit out at the way in which some welcome measures were undermined by decisions elsewhere in government. For example, the EEF, which stands for Engineers' Employers Federation, calculates that 50,000 companies have benefited from falling corporation tax, but at the expense of lower capital allowances for 900,000 small and medium-sized firms.

"We all know that we need stronger growth built on firmer foundations, but the economy and rebalancing have hit the buffers," said Terry Scuoler, the EEF's chief executive.

"We will only get back on track if the Government demonstrates the same clarity and singlemindedness on growth that it has done on reducing the deficit. Business is seeking certainty to invest, but too often it is left with the impression that government is responding to events, rather than leading on growth."

The Coalition is desperately trying to convince business that it is doing all it can to drag the country out of recession. Last week it launched a new growth implementation committee, to be chaired by the Chancellor, George Osborne, and attended by political big hitters including Ken Clarke. Tomorrow, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will detail a new industrial strategy.

The EEF is calling for a clearer route for financial help for businesses, lifting the capital allowance rate to encourage investment, electricity prices that are consistently below the European Union average and reducing the red-tape burden, for example by speeding up the reform of employment tribunals.

Mr Scuoler added: "This shouldn't be a plan for picking winners; it should be about creating the right environment for any company seeking to grow through investment and exports."

The EEF isn't alone in setting out its vision for generating economic growth. The science foundation Nesta has come up with its innovation-led plan whose measures include "sinking the proceeds from the upcoming auction of analogue TV spectrum to mobile phone operators into technology, channelling £1bn of government procurement through innovative businesses and changing the immigration cap to welcome skilled foreign graduates and entrepreneurs".

A survey by Nesta – the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts – found that two-thirds of business leaders believe the Government is doing too little to encourage innovation investment, and ranked broadband and smart energy grids as the most important area for infrastructure investment.

"Economic theory has struggled to understand the world of software and new materials, computing and design, and the continuing debate between Plan A and Plan B has so far said almost nothing about the critical sources of future growth," said Geoff Mulgan, the chief executive of Nesta.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week