Make UK calls for government support

1 min read

Make UK, the industry group that represents manufacturers in the UK, has called on the government to provide an emergency bailout for manufacturers impacted by the coronavirus.

With production levels at historic lows and growing concerns that as the government’s furlough scheme is unwound thousands of jobs could be lost in the sector, the group has called for direct state support.

According to Make UK, which represents 20,000 companies, highly skilled jobs and critical supply chains will be at risk without direct state support. It's warned that companies will need help to service debts built up during the crisis, and that firms in aerospace, automotive and steel would benefit most from direct aid.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is considering an emergency budget next month in a bid to revitalise the economy and over the weekend it has become apparent that the Treasury had drawn up plans to support struggling companies to prevent a wave of job losses.

Under the plan, named Project Birch, the government would look to support companies as a last resort and that could take the form of equity stakes or extending loan guarantee schemes.

If the government does move to support companies then that support could, and should, come with specific obligations, whether that’s addressing environmental issues, banning dividends or executive bonuses.

Any money provided should be solely to support those businesses, maintaining employment and, critically, delivering long term value.