Don’t be fooled by these soundbites

From: Seamus O’Leary

Sandford Grove Road, Sheffield S7

Yet again another Labour politician alludes to Forgemasters as evidence of a lack of honesty and commitment on the part of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.

Your readers should not be fooled by uninformed soundbites from the likes of Coun Bramall in to thinking that the previous Labour government was a great patron of manufacturing industry in the UK.

The statistics are damning: in the last quarter of 1997 manufacturing accounted for 21% of lending from British financial Institutions whilst the property business (building, buying, renting) took up 16%. In the first quarter of 2010 the figures were 8.5% to manufacturing and 43.4% to property.

Moreover, under Brown and Blair manufacturing jobs fell from 4.1m to 2.6m and manufacturing’s share of GDP from 18% to 13% (compare this with Germany where manufacturing remained stable during this period as a percentage of GDP at 20% to 21%).

Hardly the stuff of a government beating the drum for manufacturing.

In the case of Forgemasters Labour’s late conversion to the cause of manufacturing is nothing short of hypocritical and the Coalition is to be congratulated in its efforts to re-balance the economy and to stimulate and promote the manufacturing sector thereby creating real and worthwhile jobs.