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Peer calls out government on lack of manufacturing targets

A crossbench peer in the House of Lords has criticised the UK government for failing to set clear targets for spending as a percentage of GDP in its manufacturing initiatives.

Addressing peers assembled for the maiden speech of Francis Maude, former paymaster general, on 15 June, Karan Bilimora said: “When it comes to all the great coalition government initiatives for manufacturing—the catapult centres, the advanced manufacturing supply initiatives and so on—the government still has not set a specific target of increasing manufacturing as a percentage of GDP." This was in contrast to India, he said, whose government recently said it wanted manufacturing to account for 25 per cent of GDP.

Bilimoria asked Maude, who was appointed minister of state for trade and investment at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in May, whether he agreed that a target for manufacturing as a percentage of GDP should be set. “It has dropped from 30 per cent to 10 per cent of GDP since the early 1970s, and we must arrest this decline,” Bilimoria said.

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