We are not now and have never been on the road to recovery. There was yet another new record trade deficit in September - £9.8 billion. (The whole year’s trade deficit in 1996 was £6.7 billion.) It rose from £8.6 billion in August, due to a record rise in imports.
A month ago, the Office for National Statistics reported a record rise in monthly goods exports. But new data from HM Revenue and Customs, as well as a change in the ONS’s seasonal adjustment methodology, has largely revealed the supposed rise as illusory.
The government has not got a plan A, never mind a plan B – it has no plan at all, but it does have policies that are destroying industry. For example, it has cut the annual investment allowance from £100,000 to £25,000, and cut funding for the industry support body, UK Trade and Investment, by 25 per cent. ■