Strategy’s missing details

Government’s latest attempt at an ‘industrial strategy’ looks good on paper but still lacks some fundamentals needed to turn the UK into Singapore without the sunshine, according to Michele Wietscher, director of Newview Windows and Conservatories.

Theresa May’s announcement is designed to boost the UK economy post-Brexit and comes at a time when regional leaders are mapping out their own regional strategies.

The strategy includes a commitment to invest in science, research and innovation, and a new emphasis on vocational skills for non-graduates and investment in the poorer regions of the country.

“What I would have liked to have seen alongside the big-ticket items is a plan to tackle the UK’s housebuilding crisis, as the country fell well below its 2016 target of 240,000 homes,” Michelle said. “Secondly, I would have expected more focus on the need to equip students with business skills and thinking at an earlier age. There was an emphasis on vocational skills for non-graduates but I believe it needs to go further.”

The third issue that Michele would have liked to have seen mentioned was a plan to upgrade infrastructure and digital communications across the UK.

“With base interest rates so low, the last few years would have been ideal for big infrastructure spending,” she said. “We’re getting there but the planning system is still too clunk, and in some parts of the UK we have worse mobile coverage than the third world. You would have expected this to have been made central to the plan.”

Michelle also says that she would have liked to have seen action taken to re-balance the tax-system to a flatter rate system, which encourages entrepreneurship and risk-taking.