With the General Election looming ever closer, the major political parties are on full alert and trying to cover the current issues faced by the British public. According to a YouGov poll, a distinct majority of voters are calling for the government to revive some of Britain's declining manufacturing trade and industry, to make our national economy more prosperous. The British public want reassurance that the country's economic stability will be invested in and boosted, with Britain taking on the role of a major manufacturer and exporter, as it has in more prosperous times.
Historically, Britain has been a powerhouse of manufacturing and machinery, with a variety of industries thriving nationwide, sometimes termed 'the workshop of the world' for its involvement in coal and cotton, predominantly. This history, however, is chequered with accounts of child labour, unfair pay and slave labour. Now that the rights of workers are more highly valued and health and safety laws are enforced, the UK's manufacturing trade could play a vital role in raising the UK's economic and social profile in an otherwise challenging financial landscape.
Voters believe the government needs 'a clearer strategy' in the way it approaches this, and many economists agree that a strong industrial economy will "give the country more economic stability", which is much needed as, despite the major political parties' efforts to appear to tackle the British economy, there is still much national concern surrounding it. EEF, the Manufacturers' Organisation who carried out the survey, believe that "the message to parties and political leaders is loud and clear: a strong, rebalanced economy has to be the long-term end goal and at the heart of (the) election".
'Growth' seems to be the buzzword surrounding the next election, as Britain's economy is showing much more promise, and no one wants to stymie this development. UK employment was reported to have fallen to a five-year low of 6.2% last week, average earnings also rose by 0.7%. An improvement in trade can only add to these figures, as "Capital Economics highlights the fact manufacturing employment was roughly flat between the first quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of last year.
A study of British Manufacturing conducted by PwC in 2009 detailed the same kind of concerns that many still have about the British economy, namely sustainability, competing with other nations and how Britain can 'find its niche' now that "the UK accounts for 0.9% of the world's population and falling".
As May 2015 approaches, the party leaders and their MPs will all be jostling to demonstrate they have the tools and ideas to represent the British public. Those in industry will have to carefully consider whose policy-making appeals the most, and what will benefit the country the most.
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