Government running true to form over the UK steel industry

On Saturday 17th October 2015 there was a  leader article on the UK steel industry, “Where’s the entrepreneurial state when it’s really needed”,  For years Governments of every political stripe have ignored the deindustrialisation of the UK and held themselves in thrall to the city and the service sector. In 2010 the Coalition announced it would cancel the £80 million loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and it appears to be running true to form over Redcar and Scunthorpe.

With the UK balance of payments the trend is clear. The UK ran a current account deficit of 3.5% of national income in 2012. The next year it rose to 4.7% of gross domestic product. Last year, it hit 5.9% of GDP. A major reason for this deterioration is the sizeable deficit on visible trade – manufactured goods, raw materials, oil and food. This is a chronic problem; there has not been a surplus on manufacturing since the early 1990s. The first priority should be a programme of reindustrialisation including fostering, reinforcing and developing the industry that we have. Make it much harder for the City to treat companies as gambling chips, set up a seriously big industrial development bank that will lend for industrial investment rather than property speculation, be ready to invoke the manifest distress clauses in the EU intervention rules to save industries in danger of collapse and do what every other EU country does and require publicly financed services to buy domestic.

Attached documents (click to download)

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