Ipswich: Chancellor hails recovery in manufacturing during visit to Ransomes
17:11 25 April 2014
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited one of Suffolk’s oldest manufacturing companies to press home the message that the economy was on the road to recovery during a visit to the region.
He was given a tour of Ransomes in Ipswich to see how the company that began life making agricultural equipment for local farmers had grown into a supplier of grass care equipment for golf courses and parks across the world.
Mr Osborne said the improvement in the economy generally – and especially in manufacturing industries – was helping to “rebalance” the economy generally.
But he acknowledged there was some way to go in other sectors of the economy before everyone was feeling better off following the recession.
He was accompanied by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer during his visit to Ransomes.
Mr Osborne said: “Ben wanted me to come here to see how a long-established company was developing despite the problems that were faced several years ago.
“Ransomes is a real success story – it is the kind of manufacturing business that is helping to bring the country out of recession.”
Mr Osborne understood that Ransomes was now a smaller company, in terms of factory space and employees, than it was in earlier generations.
However he said manufacturing had a vital role to play in bringing the economy out of recession.
“We are seeing a recovery in this sector, and there is also growth in the service sector. I hope that there will also be benefits improving for public servants – but people understand that we have to sort out the public finances.
“It is important that the economy is rebalanced, so we do not put over-reliance on the City of London that we saw from the last Labour government,” he added.
Mr Osborne also said it was vital that the government should invest in infrastructure: “I’ve had Ben banging at my door telling me that we had to improve the rail network and we are seeing that starting to come through.
“We are getting better carriages. I shall be seeing the carriages that need to be improved on my way back to London this afternoon.
“And Ben and his Suffolk colleagues also made the case that the A14 has to be improved and that there should be no additional cost to road users and that is now firmly in the government’s programme.”