Chancellor urged to provide a boost to industry

Posted on 12 Mar 2020 and read 415 times
Chancellor urged to provide a boost to industryManufacturers are urging the Government to provide a boost to industry by turbo-charging productivity and investment.

The call was made at the recent National Manufacturing Conference (in London) by Stephen Phipson (pictured) — chief executive of Make UK (the manufacturers’ organisation) — on the back of a snap poll of companies that were asked what action the Government should take immediately to make the UK a more attractive location for industry.

According to the poll, 70.7% of companies want an increase in investment allowances, 69.7% want a reduction in
energy costs (to the EU average), and 48.5% are calling for an increase in R&D Tax Credit.

Meanwhile, 46.5% of the companies polled called for incentives to boost the recruitment of apprentices.

Make UK (www.makeuk.org) said: “Providing a shot in the arm to investment is critical, given the need to boost productivity, with the UK having had the lowest level of private investment in capital as a share of GDP in the G7 for over two decades”.

Furthermore, according to a recent report by the Adam Smith Institute, the tax treatment of investment in the UK continues to be exceptionally hostile, with a so-called ‘factory tax’ disproportionately impacting on the Midlands and the North, in particular, with their exposure to manufacturing.

“The need to boost investment also fits with the Government’s recent announcement on immigration, which called on business to put more emphasis on automation and capital expenditure rather than labour.

"In addition, the call to increase the R&D tax credit is in line with the objective of the new immigration policy to attract the brightest and the best, as well as the target in the Industrial Strategy to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 — from 1.7% in 2016.

"Increasing the level of R&D in the UK will also be critical to increase innovation as part of the fourth industrial revolution.”

Full details of the Adam Smith report (published 19 February) can be found at the Web site (www.adamsmith.org/news).

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