We must manufacture our way out of recession
Entrepreneur John Elliott MBE DL says the UK must manufacture its way out of recession and the trade black hole which is crippling the economy.
The latest UK trade figures for non-EU countries, announced this morning, showed exports in May, increase £2.3 billion (17.9%) from April, with imports dropping by just over £30 million (0.2%).
John, who is campaigning to highlight the dangers of failing to address the UK’s trade deficit, argues that taking people off benefits and into employment in the manufacturing industry can help boost the UK’s economic health.
John, founder of the County Durham-based Ebac Group Ltd, said: “These figures once more highlight the biggest problem our economy faces, and that is that we simply consume more than we produce.
“Those countries which are doing well economically, such as China, Brazil and Poland, have something in common and it’s not a coincidence. They all have trade surpluses based on manufacturing on an industrial scale. If we go back in time to when the UK was thriving, we had a strong manufacturing base. We should invest in manufacturing the basic things that we and the rest of world buy.
“Global trade is seriously out of balance. The golden rule of world economic policy should be to have balanced trade between individual countries, yet it’s not even discussed. If one country has a deficit, another will have a surplus of exactly the same amount. The surplus countries are producing more than they consume, while the deficit countries, such as the UK and Greece, consume more than they produce.”
John continued: “Unfortunately, deficits are being covered by debt which cannot be repaid and yet countries such as the UK worry about interest rates on debt rather than reducing the debt, which is a much better long term policy and easy to achieve.
“We are drawn to buying cheap goods even though we could easily do them our selves using the unemployed who we’re paying to do nothing.”
In 2004, John led the successful campaign against a Regional Assembly in the North East and he was a regional chairman of Business for Sterling the pro-pound business organisation.
John is also campaigning for greater focus the trade deficit which he believes is under-acknowledged as an indicator of the health of the economy, and the ability of manufacturing to make a positive contribution to the necessary rebalancing.
A website for people to find out more about this campaign is online at www.stopgapuk.com and other manufacturers are being urged to add their voice to the debate.
People interested in getting involved with Mr Elliott can contact Ebac at 01388 605061.