Sharon Todd responds to Jeremy Hunt's ‘Four E’s’ speech
In his speech at Bloomberg today, Jeremy Hunt outlined his ‘Four Es’ plan to grow the UK economy. He explained these were ‘Enterprise, Education, Employment and Everywhere’ and that they provide a framework for growth – with detail to come later.
There has been an outcry from business groups today, including the Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses, commenting that this is not good enough, and SCI would support them. There is a wealth of economic opportunity that could be created in the UK that is being missed by taking a passive, high-level approach. Economies that embrace innovation typically show higher than average economic growth.
Whilst it is good to see some industries being identified for growth, it is now time for government to step up and work with scientific industries to put together a detailed and deliverable industrial strategy for the UK. One that is based on innovative science, utilises the UK’s core competencies and intelligently builds strong supply chains so that front runners, such as Britishvolt, are not left exposed.
Such a strategy needs to have joined up thinking and should address issues such as the embedded CO2 being imported into the UK through a variety of products. DEFRA quote this as around 240 million tonnes CO2 equivalent – which is around half of the CO2 the UK produces today.
Such a strategy would ultimately deliver economic growth, create new jobs and facilitate large scale investment. Failure to deliver a strategy will result in the UK continuing to fall behind the really innovative economies.