Letter: The deficit is a bowl of cherries

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The Independent Online
ROGER FISKEN is right (Letters, 2 May). Our problem is one of too many imports, not too few exports. He is also right to point to skills shortages as the cause. We have a minority educated and trained to levels which equal any, and able to sustain exporting industries which can and do compete worldwide. But we have a majority so ill-educated in business and technical skills that we can no longer manufacture commodities that are competitive.

This lamentable inadequacy is patent in the multi-billion-pound deficit we run annually by, among other things, importing fruit and vegetables native to our own climate. But it extends way beyond that. What we need is a general level of skill, training and investment sufficient to yield cutlery, clothes pegs, furniture, bicycles and all the rest of the paraphernalia we use and buy. Transport costs give home industry a built-in advantage. Our textile and clothing industry has shown that we can do it. But what about the rest?

David Green

Castle Morris, Haverfordwest