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Is the UK car industry worth saving?

As taxpayers come to terms with a possible £500 million loan to Jaguar many are starting to ask if it is actually worth while saving the UK car manufacturing industry. This is an industry which is effectively overseas owned after the vast majority of UK car manufacturers were sold to the multinationals but one which has been in decline for many years. Would an extra £500 million, which would in theory need to be paid back, really see a return to taxpayers in due course or is this just delaying the inevitable?

The problem which the UK government has is the fact that tens of thousands of jobs are directly linked to the car manufacturing industry in the UK and hundreds of thousands of jobs are indirectly dependent upon the industry. If the industry was to disappear and the UK effectively became an importer of cars this would leave many hundreds of thousands of people without employment and plunge the UK government budget into further deficit.

It would seem that the £500 million which has been requested could be a worthwhile investment in due course as long as the industry and the UK economy as a whole recover in the short to medium term.

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