Last week’s poll: How should industrial policy be focused?

As parliament reconvenes David Cameron has vowed to “cut through the dither” that is holding the British economy back. Which of the following represents the government’s best hope for stimulating the UK’s engineering and manufacturing economy?

Helping business at home was the most popular option for respondents to last week’s poll, with the smallest proportion of respondents, just 14 per cent, saying that the focus of government policy should be to make the UK attractive to overseas investors. By a narrow margin, the largest group, 44 per cent, said that the government should actively pick winners and invest public funds in ambitious engineering projects — in line with the results of our previous polls about the Severn Barrage and the proposed Thames Estuary airport. But almost as many, just under 42 per cent, said that the main focus should be to boost lending to small businesses.

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What’s your opinion? Should investment in large infrastructure take precendence over helping SMEs? How much should overseas investment be encouraged? How should the government pick winners? Let us know below.