Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’ is beating a retreat

Manufacturing - the great hope for George Osborne to lift the UK economy from sluggish growth - is going into reverse.

Tony Burke is the Assistant General Secretary of Unite

There was even more bad news for David Cameron and George Osborne again this week with new data showing that activity across the UK’s manufacturing sector fell in July. This was the first contraction since July 2009, but also followed bad figures for the economy last week as a whole.

The influential Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index placed activity at 49.1 – where a figure below 50 signifies contraction – showing a slump after the 09/10 surge.


All the indications that the union Unite  is picking up from industry and from members in manufacturing is that, apart from a few specific sectors such as aerospace and motors, manufacturing is in the doldrums, with Cameron, Osborne and Cable at a loss as what to do.

New orders and employment levels are dropping. The much vaunted manufacturing lead recovery – Osborne’s so-called ‘march of the makers’ – is evaporating before the Government’s eyes.

The idea that manufacturing could soak up the thousands of lost in the public sector is a myth that has been exploded as the cuts bite and consumer confidence and domestic demand continue to fall. The alarms bells are ringing loud and clear, and can probably be heard as far away as David Cameron’s Tuscan holiday retreat.

Also the latest sluggish growth predictions from the CBI further reinforce the need for an economic Plan B before the economy goes into a nosedive. The CBI has lowered its forecast for the UK’s GDP in 2011, predicting growth of 1.3 per cent, down from its previous prediction of 1.7 per cent, made in May.

Unite has put forward proposals to defend and help manufacturing but Cameron and Co have deaf ears.

Unite’s proposals are:

• Building a framework of policies to defend strategically important industries;

• Continued financial support through interventionist policies;

• Targeted support for small and medium sized enterprises; better use of government purchasing power to secure manufacturing jobs in the UK; and

• Maximising the opportunities that the low carbon revolution offers.

Unite would also like to see the delivery of an education and skills framework which meets all industry’s needs, the creation of an education structure which builds on the science base so necessary to secure high skilled job, the right investment environment for research and development, a level playing field to deliver security and fair pricing for energy and a framework of legislation which promotes transparency and engagement for all stakeholders in the future of manufacturing.

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12 Responses to “Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’ is beating a retreat”

  1. pauline doyle

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne's 'march of the makers' is beating a retreat http://t.co/L02eqYU

  2. Tony Burke

    Osborne's 'march of the makers' is beating a retreat. http://bit.ly/nVvqma

  3. Cllr Jon Harvey

    http://t.co/PaY8CiF #osborneexcuses "manufacturers just aren't trying enough"

  4. Unite Manufacturing

    Osborne's 'march of the makers' is beating a retreat. http://bit.ly/nVvqma

  5. Michael

    Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’ is beating a retreat l Left Foot Forward – http://j.mp/o1dZAx

  6. 45apl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Osborne's 'march of the makers' is beating a retreat: http://bit.ly/pg3lIZ : writes @unitetheunion 's @TonyBurke2010

  7. Bristol NUJ

    Osborne's 'march of the makers' is beating a retreat: http://bit.ly/pg3lIZ : writes @unitetheunion 's @TonyBurke2010

  8. fauxpaschick

    Osborne's 'march of the makers' is beating a retreat: http://bit.ly/pg3lIZ : writes @unitetheunion 's @TonyBurke2010

  9. salardeen

    Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’ is beating a retreat l Left Foot Forward – http://j.mp/o1dZAx

  10. Selohesra

    Interesting that the authors first thought is to see this as bad news for Cameron & Osborne. I would have thought a man in his position might have seen it primarily as bad news for the country and his members. – Perhaps then it is all just a game to him – to score a sound bite off his opponents and to talk down the country when no longer in power.

  11. Leon Wolfson

    It’s not yet a disaster. It will be if the job denial, which you display there, keeps up. This is absolutely the right time to hammer the people pinching the job market…that THEY are ignoring this issue does mean it’s down to them.

  12. Coalition manufactur​ing policy shot to pieces | Left Foot Forward

    […] Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’ is beating a retreat – Tony Burke, August 2nd […]

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