Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I'll Do All That I Can to Help You' ECONOMY IN CRISIS Prime Minister Gordon Brown Writes for the Journal on How the Government Is Trying Its Utmost to Help Nissan and the UK's Car Industry

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I'll Do All That I Can to Help You' ECONOMY IN CRISIS Prime Minister Gordon Brown Writes for the Journal on How the Government Is Trying Its Utmost to Help Nissan and the UK's Car Industry

Article excerpt

WE all know these are incredibly difficult times for our economy, and I know how worried people are.

But I am determined to get the country through this recession as quickly and fairly as possible, and to give all the support I can to the businesses and families who are being affected.

We will not stand aside and let the recession take its course, as governments did in previous recessions.

The ramifications are being felt in every region and across every industry, and particularly in the car industry.

The North East is rightly proud of its car industry.

I know from talking to Regional Minister Nick Brown, who visited the Nissan plant last week, that the progress made in recent years has been excellent and that projects such as the electric car project and the hydrogen-powered car has enhanced the region's status as a vital automotive research and development centre.

But these are worrying times for people working in the industry. That is why we took action this week to try and help the companies and their employees get through the recession, and ensure that the car industry remains strong in the years to come.

We will not repeat the mistakes of the past, when whole industries, vital to the strength of our country, were left to fend for themselves, and whole communities were abandoned. I will not allow that to happen.

Instead, we want not just to help the car industry through the recession, but also create the basis on which it can transform itself into an industry fit for the future, ready to prosper and grow when the recovery comes.

With the talent, skills and innovation we possess in this country, I believe we can lead the way in developing the new generation of low carbon vehicles.

That transformation requires serious investment in new technologies and research.

That is why we are providing loan guarantees to car manufacturers and large suppliers, and working to improve the access to finance for car companies.

We are taking action to unlock loans of up to pounds 1.3bn from Europe, and we are making a further pounds 1bn of guarantees and loans for the innovative technology projects which will create jobs for the future. …

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