Manufacturers Welcome Further Devolution But Say Government Should Still Do More To Boost Economy

Local Road Infrastructure Investment Increases Is The Number One Priority For The Sector

09.10.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Only four out of ten UK manufacturing bosses believe the Government has taken the necessary steps to boost the economy in the region in which they are based, according to a new report by national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The YouGov research, which was carried out as part of Irwin Mitchell’s ‘UK Powerhouse’ report with the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), also found that 51% of manufacturing companies agree that  greater local devolution would boost the economy in the region where they operate.

When asked which policy or function they thought would be beneficial to their company, 57% of manufacturing bosses said increased transport and infrastructure investment.

Almost two thirds (64%) said the ability to set or determine business rates, whilst 38% called for changes to the Government’s education skills policy. Just under a third said that they would like to be able to determine a local minimum wage rather than have one that is set nationally.

When asked what the number one priority was, the most popular answer was investment in local road infrastructure. Here 25% of manufacture said that this was the most important factor for economic growth which interestingly compared with 16% nationally.

The next most popular answers were improved business funding and reduced National Insurance Contributions.

Dorrien Peters, Partner at Irwin Mitchell and specialist in the manufacturing sector, said: ]

Expert Opinion
“Our survey highlights a number of issues facing UK based manufacturers. Although there appears to be support generally for the drive towards a greater devolution of power away from Westminster, less than half of bosses felt that they were receiving the right level of support from Government.

“It is interesting that the Government has recently announced further devolution of business rates and it is crucial that the newly formed body looking at infrastructure, which will be led by Lord Adonis, delivers and listens to what businesses want.”

“We support the intention of a more balanced UK economy and believe that it is vital that the concerns of the manufacturing sector are listened to in order to ensure that it becomes a reality.”
Dorrien Peters, Partner

Irwin Mitchell’s UK Powerhouse report has been produced by leading think tank Cebr and analyses the Government’s current policies designed to rebalance the economy. The key finding of the first report found that unless there is a radical rethink, the economic gap between the London and the and the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will get widen further and reach £110bn by 2025.

To find out more about the report, visit www.irwinmitchell.com/ukpowerhouse