It’s not as though he’s about to pull all of his company’s operations in the UK, but the chairman of Tata, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel, and Tetley Tea, says Britain isn’t the best choice for industrialists.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he said: ‘The economic situation, the high cost of undertaking manufacturing, the supply chain – which is dying out as manufacturing undergoes hardship – make the UK not the first place you would look at to make a manufacturing investment.’
The timing of the interview, which was published this morning, will only add to pressure on George Osborne to come up with some decent spurs for the economy in his Autumn Statement – due to be delivered this afternoon.
Tata also shared his views on just how Osborne could improve the situation. ‘There has to be a drive to make the UK competitive in the motorcar industry or the engineering industry,’ he said, adding, ‘in some form there has to be something like Japan did in the 1960s and 1970s of saying they would have a major thrust in electronics or the auto industry, and do everything possible for x number of years to make that industry globally competitive.’
Well, thanks Tata, but we don’t reckon Osborne is about to plough £100bn into manufacturing.