Chancellor George Osborne’s rhetoric to re-balance the economy has become divorced from reality warned Britain’s largest union Unite as the latest GDP figures showed an increasing reliance on the service sector while manufacturing output flatlined.
With the service sector now accounting for 80 per cent of the economy and overall year on year economic growth slowing, the British economy is becoming dangerously lopsided, with foundation industries such as steel being allowed to wither on the vine warned Unite.
Commenting Tony Burke Unite assistant general secretary said: “George Osborne’s rhetoric about re-balancing the economy has become divorced from reality. He talks about creating a high skilled, high wage economy, while crossing his fingers that consumer spending and the service sector will give his economic stewardship a veneer of respectability.
“Scratch the surface though and on his watch we’ve seen manufacturing shrink and the UK steel industry which supports tens of thousands of decent well paid jobs plunged into crisis. Osborne’s promise of a ‘march of the makers’ has rung hollower and hollower for those who have lost their jobs or face the uncertainty of redundancy in the industry.
“The government and Osborne must match their rhetoric with action and pursue an active industrial strategy underpinned by a guarantee that if it’s built for Britain it will be made by Britain. A failure to do so will lead to an ever shrinking manufacturing sector and an increasing reliance on low paid, low skilled work.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey