According to survey results, the public wants more government support for manufacturing, including public procurement policies that benefit UK jobs and a majority are in favour of the government holding a financial stake in major companies like MG Rover.
The revelation that the public do not believe the government is doing enough to support manufacturing comes as T&G analysis of government figures shows that the rate of decline of manufacturing jobs has hastened in the last year.
T&G believes that “Year Zero” for manufacturing jobs, when manufacturing ceases in the UK, is twenty four years away, based on current projections. The figures are taken from years ending December 2003 and 2004, prior to the collapse of MG Rover.
The public desire for government action contrasts sharply with their pessimism that the decline of manufacturing will be reversed. In the ICM poll, the UK is rated as having the least sustainable and prosperous manufacturing industry in the next ten years.
“The free market economics that dominate New Labour thinking are out of step with the vast majority of the public,” Tony Woodley, T&G General Secretary, said. “Most people say that a prosperous manufacturing sector is crucial to the economy yet do not believe this Government are going to act to save it.
“The T&G demands a much more pro-active government role to support manufacturing. We need action to prevent offshoring, government procurement policies that support British jobs, and for the state to be willing to hold a stake in major companies. The 2012 London Olympics also provides real opportunity for manufacturing development.
“If government fails to support manufacturing it will have failed our economy.”