Skip to main content

Economy: “Going For Growth”

Volume 716: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010


A credible deficit reduction plan has to be accompanied by an equally credible growth plan. December’s PBR had a clear objective: to halve the deficit by 2013-14. It was bold and tough—the equivalent of something approaching an £80 billion turnaround in the public finances. Today I am publishing Going for Growth: Our Future Prosperity, which sets out our plan for growth, building on the foundations that we have already put in place.

The recovery is only the beginning of how we are going to pay our way in the global economy. The jobs of the future will not be the same as those in the past. We will turn new technologies into jobs, like those in digital and biotechnologies. We will commercialise the output of our hugely successful science and research base. We will turn low carbon into business and employment opportunities. None of this is going to happen with the Government simply standing on the sidelines. Other Governments are actively investing in their industrial strength. We have to do the same.

The global financial crisis has given us the opportunity to reflect on our approach to industrial policy and the Government’s role in shaping markets. Last year, we published New Industry, New Jobs, setting out our new activist approach. Going for Growth: Our Future Prosperity shows how we have developed that strategy and the steps that we are taking to ensure that the drive for sustainable economic growth is at the heart of the Government’s agenda.

Making the most of this new changing environment requires us both to build on our strengths and to develop new capabilities that will enable us to thrive. That means continuing to take a more strategic approach to UK industrial policy in the future—focusing on those sectoral opportunities that will drive discovery and economic growth in this century and helping people to get the skills and experience that they need to secure high-value jobs throughout their working lives.

There are seven key areas of government action underpinning our approach:

supporting enterprise and entrepreneurial activity, including the access to finance required for starting and growing firms;

fostering knowledge creation and its application;

helping people to develop the skills and capabilities to find work and build the businesses and industries of the future;

investing in the infrastructure required to support a modern low-carbon economy;

ensuring open and competitive markets to drive innovation and rising productivity;

building on our industrial strengths where we have particular expertise or might gain a comparative advantage, and where government action can have an impact; and

recognising and employing the right strategic role for government in markets that allows us as a nation to capitalise on new opportunities.

Copies of the document have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and are available on the BIS website. Paper versions are available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office.