North West manufacturers urge Chancellor to turbo-charge productivity

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation is calling on Philip Hammond to use his available ammunition to boost investment and improve industry competitiveness. Tony McDonough

Manufacturers says the Chancellor needs to boost productivity and investment in his Autumn Budget

 

Manufacturers in Merseyside and across the North West say the Chancellor forthcoming Autumn Budget must focus on the UK’s lagging productivity.

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation is calling on Philip Hammond to use his available ammunition to boost investment and improve industry competitiveness.

According to EEF, whilst manufacturing is enjoying positive growth on the back of strong global trading conditions, investment remains subdued.

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Reasons for this include the need for clarity on Brexit outcomes to the availability of a range of skills to manage and implement new technologies.

It says reigniting manufacturers’ confidence to invest is crucial if we are to attempt to make a break from a decade of stagnant productivity growth.

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivers his Budget in March 2017

 

There to avoid UK companies facing a mountain of catch-up with competitors that are already moving apace on new technology uptake, it adds. 

EEF has made series of recommendations that it believes would deliver improvements to the business environment:

  • Increase the rates of capital allowances to 30% for the first two year of qualifying investment for a time limited five year period
  • Cap increases in the business rates multiplier at two per cent to minimise increases in business costs
  • Promoting the benefits associated with the 4th industrial revolution through demonstrators
  • Enhance supply chain cooperation on Fourth Industrial Revolution innovation and adoption through collaborative funding as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
  • Increase the rate of the R&D tax credit under the Large Companies scheme

Richard Halstead, director of member engagement for EEF in the North, said:‘The Chancellor has to offset acute anxiety among companies over Brexit with a budget that reassures business the Government will deliver a comprehensive and ambitious industrial strategy.

“This is essential if we are to sustain long term growth and accelerate the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.”

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