At the 2019 general election big promises were made by the Conservatives about levelling up the deep inequalities between London and the southeast and much of the rest of our country. These words must urgently be converted into deeds. The danger is that government inaction during the Covid crisis in key manufacturing sectors of the economy, such as aerospace, automotive and steel, will lead not to a levelling-up but a spiral downwards into even greater inequalities.
The manufacturers’ organisation Make UK fears the loss of 170,000 jobs in manufacturing this year in areas and regions that are deeply reliant on this employment and which already lag behind overall. While in some of its initial action — such as the furlough — the government did respond