The manufacturing sector has a key role to play in the Government’s ambitious agenda to build back better, which is why last week I met representatives of the UK’s major manufacturing trade associations to hear their views directly. To support the sector, we continue to provide extensive support for research and development as part of our commitment to increase it, economy-wide, to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
Many of the communities that voted for Conservative MPs for the first time in the recent election rely on our key manufacturing sectors such as aerospace and automotive for jobs. Given that the Government were prepared to create a £3 billion demand stimulus for the housing market, which was not as adversely affected by the pandemic, why will they not do a lot more to protect those jobs and communities with a demand stimulus for aerospace and automotive, which is desperately needed?
The Government are acutely aware of the demands required across various sectors. The hon. Lady mentions the aerospace and automotive sectors, which the Government are supporting with over £8.5 billion through the covid corporate financing facility, grants for research and development, loans and export guarantees expected over the next 18 months. There is also further support in place for the automotive industry through the Budget, in which the Government committed over £1 billion to promote the uptake of ultra-low emissions vehicles, including up to £500 billion to support the roll-out of a superfast charging network. Those amounts will help those various sectors.