Government Assistance to Industry - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

6  Conclusion

142.  Our report provides an initial assessment of the Department's support for industry. The Government has proposed a number of interventions which have the potential help promote economic growth, but they do not add up to a comprehensive growth strategy.

143.  The crucial issue of rates of lending by banks remains unresolved; and all the good that the Department hopes to achieve in its industrial policies will suffer without a vibrant business community which has adequate access for working capital. That, more than any Government initiative, will drive the recovery. The Government has been talking a tough game since it came into power and while bank lending rates are a complicated issue to manage, it is time for Government to deliver.

144.  It is also clear that different sectors of the economy have different requirements when it comes to Government support. In order to build capability across all sectors of the economy the Department will need to develop a strong awareness of the needs of individual sectors and have the flexibility to react to them. While the Government's growth strategy appears to move in this direction, our evidence from three sectors has shown that much work needs to be done. It has also reinforced the central theme of this Report, that finance remains the critical issue to address, whether by direct intervention or by creating the right environment for investors.

145.  As we state at the start of our Report, this is an initial assessment of the Government's position. We intend to monitor closely the Government's efforts in this area and will return to it at regular intervals.

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