Manufacturing suffers another setback on Osborne’s watch

The UK is still over-reliant for growth on inflated house prices and low paid jobs.

The UK is still over-reliant for growth on inflated house prices and low paid jobs

This week’s figures from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) show another slowdown in UK manufacturing and again demonstrate that George Osborne’s recovery is built on less than solid foundations.

Four years on from Osborne’s promised ‘March of The Makers’, the re-balancing of the economy has proved to be a failure – with the UK still over-reliant for growth on inflated house prices and low paid, low-skilled jobs in the service sector.

The BCC survey warns that any economic recovery will stall unless the UK’s export performance improves; and experts are predicting that figures later this month from the ONS will show that economic growth slowed between July and September, following 0.9 per cent growth in the second quarter.

The BCC says that that manufacturing growth at the beginning of 2014 has petered out, with companies now running below full capacity and the strong pound making UK manufactured goods more expensive in the world economy.

The survey of 7,000 UK companies also found that manufacturers experienced a slowdown in sales growth at home and abroad in the third quarter.

A balance of +16 per cent of manufacturers reported a rise in export sales, down from +30 per cent in the second quarter. It was the lowest balance since the fourth quarter of 2012. Growth in domestic manufacturing orders is also down on the second quarter.

Unite has been campaigning for an industrial strategy based on investment in manufacturing, re-shoring of the supply chain, the development of a strategic investment bank, the procurement of UK manufactured goods, continued EU membership and a new skills eco system.

Next month Unite will launch its Charter for UK Engineering – ‘Engineering Excellence’. Labour needs to heed the call the charter makes for long-term investment in UK engineering and the creation of decent, skilled jobs to grow the economy.

And it is not just the unions arguing for a strong manufacturing strategy. In a recent poll by the Engineering Employers Federation, ordinary voters said they wanted to see a resurgence of UK industry. In the poll four out of five voters (85 per cent) said they wanted a government which promotes a stronger UK manufacturing base, with 62 per cent believing it will give the country more economic security.

That is why Labour must ensure that an interventionist manufacturing strategy, with decent employment at its heart, is spelt out in the party’s General Election manifesto.

Tony Burke is assistant general secretary of Unite

23 Responses to “Manufacturing suffers another setback on Osborne’s watch”

  1. The_Average_Joe_UK

    The unions did more to kill manufacturing in the UK than anyone else.

    The unions are a curse on British manufacturing and should consign themselves to the public sector where they steal from the state in the form of facility time.

    Oh and for your info I hate the Tories.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes, the Tories are evidently far too left-wing for you.

    And of course workers being able to talk “kills” manufacturing, is a “curse” and you once more spew hate at teachers and nurses.

  3. Dave Roberts

    This Tory bashing at any price is pathetic. If Germany may be heading for a recession then the whole of the Euro Zone is. The reason is that we are carrying countries with massive debts like Ital and Spain as well as Ireland.

  4. Dave Roberts

    I’m not keen either and you are correct about the unions. British cars in the 1970s, say no more.

  5. The_Average_Joe_UK

    You were told, keep doing that and you’ll go blind.

    Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

  6. The_Average_Joe_UK

    At what juncture did a British lefty know anything of economics?

    British socialism is the politics of hate and jealousy. The are also very good at lying… eh Leon?

  7. Phil Hove

    Good to see Tony Burke of Unite backing his union members and raising and pushing the importance of manufacturing and I like the Government interventionist strategy being part of the manifesto, good man.

    The current Government, of course is also right behind him, as exampled by it’s exceptional achievements, as shown with UK world performance compared with say Germany at the moment.

    So Tony it is wrong to try and make political points since the Coalition were bequeathed the largest ever peacetime deficit and a trashed economy with rapid deteriorating and depleted manufacturing base on which to get to this point: See

    https://fullfact.org/factchecks/Growth_Labour_manufacturing-28817

    “The manufacturing sector halved as a share of the British economy when Labour was in office and we had the fastest decline in British manufacturing in British history.”

  8. Guest

    More internet threats?

    Sad.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    Keep spewing your PC bigotry, and making arrant assumptions, as you project your views and beliefs onto others.

    I am not Dave, we have entirely different posting styles, but facts.
    And I am not a socialist, you’re flailing in the wind.

    Keep lying!

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    And the UK. Don’t forget the UK.

  11. Guest

    The current government is undermining him, not the same thing at all. Moreover, government interference in business of that nature leads to high inefficiency and crony capitalism.

    The UK is in a downwards wage/productivity spiral, with a dangerous bubble in the City. And your revisionism, when your Coalition took a recovery and turned it round into a depression – well!

    Germany’s problems are self-inflicted. The UK’s problems are self-inflicted. The common thread is austerity.

  12. Phil Hove

    Absolute rubbish – it was Labour that imported millions cheap Labour into the UK that has more than anything else put pressure on wages, (not to mention housing, schools, NHS and national cohesion as well).

  13. Guest

    Yes yes, you’re determined to undermine everything and blame the Other, as you push down wages.

    Who would be your next target, if you got your way, given things would get worse?

  14. Guest

    Oh deaery me, and of course, poor managment had nothng to do with it,
    Just a few examples:-
    1) A medium sized pharmacueticals company had a top selling drug in Britain and Europe. They let it on license to a US Pharmacuetical company to manufacture and sell in the states. But that company put little effort into marketing the drug until after a few years the US law permitted it to be taken over, whereupon increased marketing effort resulted in a massive increase in sale. POOR MANAGEMENT.
    2) the same British company had another drug it was developing and comissioned an american company to put it through clinical trials in the States. It turned out , at the high dose they employed, it had unfavourble outcomes and was refused approval. There was strong suspicion of skulduggery in choice of doses. It may have had unfavourable outcome at lower dose too but it was POOR BRITISH MANAGEMENT that allowed the high dose to be used.
    A few years later the British company was shut down.
    3) At another British pharmceutical company ignored criticsm of its manufacturing
    plant by the American Food and Drug administration and didn’t try to improve hygiene. Enforcement action meant they had to stop sales in the States. POOR MANAGEMENT.
    In another division of the same company the senior management were pumping the sales towards the end of the financial year to temporarily boost the share price . They got away with it for three or four years until the market tumbled to what was hapenning. POOR MANAGEMENT.
    The company eventually closed.
    I could cite variuos examples of BAD MANAGEMENT from the car and motorcycle industries so you see it isn’t just or even partly the Unions at fault.

  15. Guest

    There is a lot more to be said:-
    That was also an example of BAD MANAGEMENT in the manufacture of cars that rusted to bits, were unreliable and kept breaking down. That was due to poor design and planned obsolescence by management. The British public

    stopped buying them and switched to foreign manufactured cars instead. The Mini was taken over by BMW and with improved reliability is still going strong. And wasn’t there some funny financial business with another part of the car industry. That was BAD MANAGEMENT that made the management a large sum of money when the company shut down. So, infact, there is a lot more to be said

  16. Guest

    Phowee!

  17. Guest

    Continued.
    It took Nissan and Toyota to improve management and revive the British Car industry and they only did that because we were in the Common market now the EU.

  18. Guest

    Phowee!
    Spite and vindictiveness being Cameron’s and Osbourne’ s stock in trade towards the less well and unpaid in society

  19. Guest

    The Tories were calling for even laxer regulation of the banks and finacial industries at the time, why else do you think they have been so asiduous in deleting the record of their speeches from the WEB?

  20. Phil Hove

    Get real. What sort of irrelevant weak point is that when discussing manufacturing?

    All oppositions oppose in any event but it is about what you do with power when in power, like the plethora of Coalition banking reforms coming through since 2010.

    But another example, to counter, you just have to look at every Coalition welfare and benefits reform. incidentally supported by 73% of the nation, Labour has voted against in parliament.

    Stop trying to blame others for Labours failings. We have had enough of that and the Labour failures buzzwords are now well known, but you probably need reminding:

    Vote Labour – Get Rotherham
    +
    NHS Wales
    STAFFORD
    MORECOMBE
    PIE
    DEFICIT – LARGEST PEACETIME EVER
    ECCELSTON
    TOWER HAMLETS
    Illegal IRAQ – Lies WMD – Resulting ISIS – BEHEADINGS
    FGM
    CAMPBELL SPIN – KELLY DEAD
    IMMIGRATION MILLIONS
    EU 55 MILLION PER DAY
    EDUKASION– UK WENT FROM BEING IN WORLD TOP 10 TO LATE 20S
    PUBLIC SECTOR RAMMED
    RECORD – TEENAGE Mums’ – SOCIALLY HOUSED
    BBC BIAS
    ENGLAND DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT POST DEVOLUTION
    TROJAN HORSES
    HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
    BENEFITS STREET LIFESTYLE CHOICE
    CHILCOT
    QUANGOS STUFFED
    PFI GENERATIONAL EXTORTION
    MULTI CULTI FAIL
    NEETS – HIGHEST EVER
    SHARIA COURTS
    MEMORY LAPSING LEFTY RENTAGOBS
    INEQUALITY HIGHEST EVER
    FOREIGN AID CORRUPTION
    BEQUEATHED COALITION LONGEST RECESSION
    LOWEST GROWTH FOR GENERATION
    GPs 100k pa – COMBINE CANCEL OUT HOURS = A&E OVERLOAD
    BANKING REGS – WORLD FINANCE CENTRE FAIL
    CHEAP GOLD – 400 TONS OF IT!
    MANUFACTURING LARGEST EVER DECLINE
    HOUSE BUILDING LOWEST SINCE 20S
    ZERO POWER STATIONS BUILT
    MILLENNIUM DOME
    COOP BANK FAIL
    FUEL DUTY ESCALATOR
    ISLAMFICATION OF THE NATION
    CRONY MPs DYNASTY – BLAIR – STRAW- DROMEY – BENN – HARMAN
    LISBON TREATY WITHOUT REFERENDUM
    POSTAL VOTING FRAUD
    50% ATTENDING UNI –ONLY 20% GRAD JOBS AVAIL
    CLIMATE CHANGE ZEAL
    MUSLIM PATROLS
    MADRASES
    PENSIONS RAIDED

  21. Guest

    Keep listing everything which is far too good for the British for you, as you buzz-word bingo your attacks on the British, and support rising poverty.

    Your disregard for manufacturing, preferring to attack the British…

  22. Guest 1

    Some of these we agree were mistakes but only the minority the rest are either atributable to tory policies after 2010 eg the madrassas resulting from Govian insistance on opening up education to all and sundrie. Eg the failure to tighten banking regulation (egged on by the tories) that was due to the operation within the thacherite climate of the time. The rest is a matter of opinion and point of view. I could put up a capitalised list of successful polices resulting from the New Labour Government many of which have been cancelled or wound down by the ConDem coalition in their excessive fit of austerity

  23. Guest

    Labour bashing at any price is even more pathetic, so there!

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