ONE in four manufacturers are delaying investment plans due to increased political uncertainty, according to an industry body.

EEF is urging Chancellor Philip Hammond to use next week’s Autumn Statement to introduce measures to boost investment and growth in support of a new industrial strategy.

It says the Chancellor should signal a moderate fiscal stimulus package to boost innovation and export support for firms while reinforcing a commitment to prudent financial planning.

He has also been urged to push through further infrastructure commitments, from improved digital broadband connectivity to road schemes.

Andy Tuscher EEF Yorkshire director, said: “The Government’s commitment to an industrial strategy has come at the right time with the new administration setting a clear and welcome precedent.

“The Chancellor has a significant opportunity to put a down payment on this through a range of measures which prioritise productivity growth, boost investment in digital technologies and supports exports.

“The whole of Government must get behind UK businesses and demonstrate a clear appreciation of the need to back such a strategy, backing sectors while also tackling systemic problems such as skills, energy costs and infrastructure weaknesses.

“Creating such an environment in Yorkshire and Humber will instil confidence in manufacturers to pursue their business ambitions, anchoring investment in our Region, and ensuring that we take early advantage of new digital technologies.”

EEF said the Autumn Statement should underpin efforts to improve productivity, combined with an industrial strategy helping to set out a clear path to long-term growth.

Such a strategy should include measures to boost innovation, research and development and key technologies. It should also involve major investment in infrastructure and a new and joined-up energy strategy.

An industrial strategy should have four key themes- a more productive and flexible workforce, more reliable and resilient infrastructure, lower business costs and better support for growing businesses.