Government car aid cash not ready

  • Government hasn't applied for European money
  • Conservatives say aid package 'won't sell a single car'
  • Car chief outlines urgent need for aid
The Government's £2.3 billion aid package for the UK car industry has come under attack, after it was revealed that ministers have yet to apply to Brussels to fund it.

Following reports in the Financial Times that the application for European Central Bank funding had not been made, Mark Prisk, the Shadow Minister for Business and Enterprise, argued that the aid package 'won’t sell a single car.'

Car makers have also warned that more aid is urgently needed.

David Smith, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, outlined why the Government should support the car industry, which he described as one of the UK's manufacturing success stories.

'It would now be a tragedy were the aid package not to be delivered in time to avert the industrial consequences of another quarter like this one,' said Smith.

'Manufacturing matters. It has been the bedrock of Britain’s economy. It has been our ability to make, allied with our ability to sell, on which the wealth of this country rests.

'Over the last quarter of a century, this reliance on manufacturing and trade has been overshadowed. Too much of our economy has been dominated by the service and financial sectors. In the last few months, we've seen the folly of the over-emphasis on finance.'

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