EEF calls for rebalancing of economy

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A call for Britain's political leaders to back policies that will rebalance the UK's economy has come from manufacturers' organisation, the EEF.

It follows YouGov research conducted on behalf of the organisation confirming widespread support for industry's demands for better-balanced growth. According to EEF, over six in 10 consumers (63%) want to see Britain enjoying a better-balanced economy, where growth is sustainable and the economy is growing across different sectors. "They want to see Britain making more (59%), exporting more (64%) and competing more effectively with other countries (58%)," it added. Consumers also wanted long-term plans for protecting and building upon the economic recovery to be centre stage during next year's election campaign, the research revealed. Almost four-fifths (79%) said this was important. At the same time, almost seven in 10 (68%) said that if current economic and business policies were working well they should be left alone. Over eight in 10 (85%) wanted the next government to promote a stronger UK manufacturing base, with 62% believing that a stronger manufacturing sector would give the country more economic security. Terry Scuoler (pictured), EEF chief executive, said: "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 your election offering. Industry and voters are singing from the same hymn sheet. We want a robust, stable and resilient economy with a clear focus on balanced growth and this is a message party leaders must not fail to take into the election and beyond. "A stronger manufacturing base is a vital component – and while it is not a 'cure all' for every economic ill, British industry does have a fundamental role to play in building a better-balanced and more robust economy. Government can and should focus policies on delivering this aim. "There is no room for complacency. While the UK is on the right path, we still have a long way to go. We cannot afford to lose focus. Net trade is still weak, investment is still below pre-recession levels and, while manufacturing has gained ground, more can be done to create the right conditions for manufacturers and wider industry to thrive and grow. Better-balanced growth must still be our 2020 destination and we are looking for all parties to commit to this ahead of the next election."