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More help needed for car giants

SOLIHULL’S MP Lorely Burt has accused the Government of “dragging its feet” over loans to the car industry.

SOLIHULL’S MP Lorely Burt has accused the Government of “dragging its feet” over loans to the car industry.

Her comments follow a meeting in Birmingham on Wednesday, where the boss of Jaguar Land Rover voiced frustration about delays in support.

The company - which is owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata - has been locked in talks with the Government for several months. But the £2.3 billion loans package which was announced in January has yet to bear fruit.

David Smith, JLR’s chief executive, said: “At the time it was announced the industry identified some potential issues.

“The Government at that time addressed these. The frustration for everybody, not just manufacturers, is the pace that it has actually been implemented.

“We’ve done a lot ourselves but we’re still suffering the effects of not getting it moving - not just JLR, but the whole industry.”

But there is some good news for the beleagured car marque - it was announced this week that it will receive a £500m boost from Indian investors. Yesterday Lorely Burt welcomed this news, but also condemned the Government for failing to finalise its own support.

“I think the way the Government has handled this is absolutely appalling.

“Everyone understands that before they can make any loan guarantees, they need to protect taxpayers’ money. However, they really seem to have dragged their feet over this and put some of Jaguar Land Rover’s plans into jeopardy. They should just get on with the job and deliver what they had promised.”

 

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