I have previously written about the need for the government to help and support British industry. A successful manufacturing sector is the main pillar of a successful economy and a wealthy country. But a successful industrial sector doesn’t occur by just by accident, or without government help. What is needed is a government business strategy and a willingness to fund this. And unfortunately this government of Tory Traitors has neither the right policy nor the financial resolve that we need to be a successful country. In fact, difficult though it may be to believe, even the Labour Party now has a better industrial policy than Sunak and Hunt! Two people in joint control is called a ‘duumvirate’, but in the case of the very unfunny clowns Sunak and Hunt perhaps this should be ‘dumbvirate’.
Of course Labour’s economic policy has the same moronic genuflection to ‘net zero’ that the Conservative policy has, but it isn’t any worse on that score. And at least Labour understands that the government needs to support British industry to help it be successful. Look at the latest treachery from this appalling government: they have awarded the contract to build three Royal Navy support ships to Navantia, the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder, rather than a British consortium! So British money and British jobs are now going to Cadiz rather than helping our own countrymen. Drake and Nelson stood up to Spain and triumphed, but Sunak has rolled over and surrendered to them. No patriot can vote Conservative while he remains their leader. Sunak is the enemy of Britain and the British people.
The other day there was a debate in parliament on the vitally important topic of “Britain’s industrial future”. George Freeman, a junior minister at BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) spoke on behalf of the government. The fact that the head of BEIS – Secretary of State Grant Shapps – could not be bothered to turn up clearly demonstrates the contempt with which the government treats this crucial issue. George Freeman tried to shift the focus from the government’s failure to defend key foundation industries like steel-making or car manufacturing by pretending that the government is investing in the industries of the future. But even that is just a filthy government LIE.
Look at the production of batteries for electric cars. Having decided (wrongly, I believe, but that is a separate debate) to force all car makers to go electric by 2030, the government had a duty to ensure that all the batteries required would be built in Britain. Given that several other countries are also going down the electric car road, a thriving British battery-making industry would be well-positioned to be a great economic success. But the government is doing nothing of the kind and is instead allowing Britain’s biggest potential gigafactory – that proposed by the ‘Britishvolt’ company – to teeter on the brink of collapse and administration. Maybe, if the government had actually given them the £100m which they had promised this would not have happened, but it seems Tory promises are worth less than used toilet paper. Grant Shapps refuses to even meet the company’s chairman! Does that sound like a man who cares about Britain’s industrial success?
By 2030 the EU will have 40 gigafactories up and running, with 12 of these in Germany alone. But the treacherous Tories refuse to fund even one in the UK. Labour, on the other hand, have declared they would fund eight gigafactories. At least this will allow us to compete with the EU which, unlike our cretinous and treacherous government, is investing billions of euros in its gigafactories. Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Hungary (as well as non-EU Norway) will soon all have gigafactories up and running, while here in Britain the government refuses to do anything to help us compete. So come 2030 we will be entirely reliant on importing batteries from abroad.
But because of their weight, batteries are expensive to transport, meaning they must be sourced locally. And because of their cost, almost every other part of the electric car supply chain will be built around the location of the gigafactories, meaning that very soon we will lose the car manufacturers and their entire supply chain too. If this isn’t treason, what is?
Our stupid Conservative government has form when it comes to betraying British industry as a result of a mismatch between political and industrial policy. The desire to power Britain with wind energy was not just stupid in itself, but by failing to support our own turbine manufacturers the outcome has been that for every pound spent on building offshore wind energy production only 29p is spent here in Britain. Under a Tory government, offshore energy really means offshoring jobs to our foreign rivals. And now the same thing is happening with that other ‘green’ industry that the government is pretending it cares about: hydrogen production. As it happens, hydrogen is actually very useful and valuable. It is not just used for creating energy but, equally importantly, it is a key ingredient in the chemicals industry. So producing our own clean and cheap hydrogen would be a good idea. But guess what – the government is failing to support this business and as a result it is moving to the EU. Are you beginning to see a trend yet?
So it is that a British company (ITM Power) that makes the vital electrolysis equipment needed to extract hydrogen from water has abandoned its plan to build a major factory here in the UK and will instead set this up abroad. Why? Because as the company’s chief executive explained: “around the world, there is very strong engagement to incentivise local manufacturing with funding, and that does not exist in the UK. All of our European competitors are being funded to the tune of tens or in some cases hundreds of millions.” He’s right – more than €10 billion of public money in the EU is being channelled into just two large hydrogen projects alone. In other words, foreign governments put their money where their mouths are, they invest in local businesses and they create local jobs and national wealth and ensure their independence. Britain does the opposite: we export first our jobs and then, when we have to import what we should have been producing ourselves, our money too. Not a great business plan!
Or look at that other high-tech industry, microchips. We have seen in the last couple of years how a shortage of these has caused huge problems for industrial manufacturers, creating bottlenecks and delays to production, stifling the economy and reducing national GDP. So governments all around the world have responded. Take Japan, for instance, which is powering ahead with setting up new semiconductor manufacturers: they’ve just announced another £427m in direct funding to support domestic microchip manufacturing, on top of £275m agreed in September, which itself was in addition to £560m pledged in July – making a total of £1.262 billion committed just this year alone. Wouldn’t it be great if the British government was doing something similar?
But this is dwarfed by the US, where Congress recently approved £44.5 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and research and a 25% investment tax credit for chip plants, estimated to be worth £20 billion. China is investing £127 billion and South Korea is doing even more, pledging £380 billion over the next ten years. Even India can see the importance of this modern foundation industry, and is investing £8.5 billion. And our biggest rival, the EU, is waiving its restrictions on state aids with an initial investment of £9.6 billion in R&D and a goal of a total investment (including in manufacturing) of £37.5 billion.
Is government support really necessary, you may ask – can’t the private sector do this on its own? You need to understand that building a semiconductor foundry costs a minimum of £2.5 billion, rising to £17.5 billion for the really big and advanced ones! That’s why every government in the world understands that massive state investment and support is necessary. Every government except ours. How can that be? The only answer is that we are either led by cretins or by traitors. Which do you think it is?
Not only is the government failing to support individual key industries, it isn’t even doing the basics right. A thriving business sector needs low business taxes in order to encourage companies to invest here rather than elsewhere. Large companies are highly mobile; they can just up sticks and move to another country if the tax rate here is uncompetitive compared to our overseas rivals. Our current corporation tax rate is 19%, but our nearest competitor – Ireland – has a rate of just 12.5% and that’s why they have attracted so much foreign investment – at our expense! So our rate cannot be too different and clearly needs to be reduced to prevent even more businesses moving abroad. Instead the traitors Sunak and Hunt intend to increase this to 25%! This is absolute madness. But what matters most is encouraging those firms that are here to invest more and increase their output. And the way to do that is to offer what is known as a ‘super-deduction’ (ie. tax relief at a rate greater than 100%) on any investment in new buildings, equipment, or R&D. This would mean that the more companies invest and grow the more they save, and that’s an offer that no finance officer could refuse! A 120% super-deduction rate, for instance, would see corporate investment surge like a tidal wave and generate a massive boost to our economy and national wealth. Now that’s an intelligent business tax policy.
If you are thinking that, thanks to British genius and innovation, we do at least have a thriving start-up sector, let me tell you the sad and salutary tale of the British space start-up called Magdrive, which has designed a plasma-based power system to provide propulsion for satellites. This is about as cutting-edge and high-tech as you can get, and surely qualifies as one of the ‘industries of the future’ that George Freeman seems so keen on. But if so then he needs to make a much better effort to woo them. For while the company plans to retain their R&D in the UK, their manufacturing will move to the US. As one of the co-founders explains: “to be honest, the UK is not a great place to manufacture high-value items and then ship them out.” And the government’s response? Total indifference. It seems that with our ‘dumbvirate’ of Sunak and Hunt now running the country treason is no longer a crime – it is now official government policy!
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