It would be difficult to find fault with much in Margaret Beckett’s 12-point plan for British industry. Many of her themes, set out to captains of industry last week, echo the policies put forward by industry itself over the past few years.
All the key phrases of partnership, improving competitiveness, stimulating investment, boosting Technology Foresight and offering incentives for small business are there. But there is disappointment in many quarters at another period of talking rather than doing.
The first few hectic weeks of a Labour Government have raised expectations of faster action. Labour ministers are showing clear support for manufacturing industry and a commitment to stimulate training and innovation.
Business leaders are anxious to get on with the job of improving Britain’s competitiveness. They need a clear and decisive lead from Government.