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.