The Government should move on from Brexit, and end the “blame game” with business over the current challenges facing the country, a leading industry group has said.
Manufacturing organisation Make UK said ministers should step up working in partnership with business to address the many issues facing industry.
The group said there was a feeling that the Government sees business as the “enemy within.”
It called on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to use his forthcoming Spending Review and Budget to set out the Government’s long-term vision for the economy to help boost recovery and business confidence.
Make UK published its own priorities to boost investment, including “fixing” the business rates system by simplifying the process, enabling employers to use up 20 per cent of apprentice levy funds to support wage costs for apprentices, and develop an online, digital skills account for employees.
Make UK said that given the “abandoning” of an industrial strategy, in order to encourage boardrooms to make the crucial decision to invest in the UK, and not overseas, a long-term vision for the economy and industry was vital for investors to retain confidence in the UK.
Stephen Phipson, Make UK chief executive, said: “Industry is vital to the future of any new economy. It will also be the solution to not just the major societal and environmental challenges we face in the future but, the need to boost living standards in a practical way across the whole of the UK.
“To encourage the investment in technology and skills we need to help make this realistically happen. Government must set out a long term vision for the economy that works with the grain of business to promote growth and wealth creation, not against it.
Currently there is a feeling within industry that the Government is still fighting the last war and sees business as the enemy within.
“Business has moved on and, Government must do too, working in a spirit of partnership with industry to develop a longer term economic plan which has enterprise and wealth creation as the fundamental principle.
“Growth is the right solution to making the most of the opportunities ahead of us and getting the job done.”
According to Make UK, while the manufacturing sector is set to grow strongly this year by 7.1 per cent and 4.2 per cent in 2022, increasing the tax burden for manufacturers means the sector will not bounce back to where it was before the pandemic.