The Liberal Democrats want to reverse this picture. We know the UK has huge potential for sustainable economic growth, which in turn will create good jobs, fund vital public services and build strong communities.
Adopting an industrial strategy is essential to achieving that goal. Yet in 2021, the Conservatives scrapped the UK’s industrial strategy and disbanded the independent body overseeing it.
Business organisations labelled the move a “short-sighted step that ministers will come to regret”. Businesses view the industrial strategy as a stabilising force that creates certainty for investment and long-term incentives.
Other major economies understand that, and have adopted ambitious industrial policies. For example, the US passed the Inflation Reduction Act which sets out major incentives to develop green industries. And Europe is responding by supporting its own manufacturing sector.
So today, the Liberal Democrats are calling for the development of a new industrial strategy. This strategy would tackle the big challenges of our time: supercharging the green economy, boosting living standards, addressing regional inequalities, and creating the conditions for sustainable growth.
The UK faces significant challenges, from the ongoing legacy of the pandemic, to the climate crisis, energy shortages, and a stalling economy. It's time for a proactive stance, to ensure the UK is not left behind. This new Liberal Democrat policy sets out a vision for the sustainable economic growth we need to create good jobs, fund public services and strengthen local communities.