The Chemical Industries Association reaction to the Chancellor's Budget and Spending Review:
Today’s announcements mapped the recovery beyond the pandemic against an improving UK economic picture and whilst we as an industry welcome most aspects of the Chancellor’s Budget and Spending Review, a key opportunity to address soaring industrial energy prices and the inefficient apprenticeship levy were missed.
We support the Chancellor’s reform to business rates and appreciate the increased public sector R&D resources. However, further funding in this area is needed if the UK is to become a scientific superpower and aid the transition to net zero. Welcomed too is the decision to extend the annual investment allowance and begin allocating Levelling Up funds, although the scale of these measures was below what is needed to make a material impact on the economy.
As for energy intensive companies – the Chancellor missed the perfect opportunity to support businesses battling soaring wholesale gas, electricity and carbon costs. This is the situation that still needs urgent attention given the fact that we are not yet into the Winter when one would expect longer periods of cold weather and prices that respond to increased demand. Today would also have been an ideal time to reform the apprenticeship levy which continues to be unfit for purpose.
Although we appreciate that this Budget quite rightly prioritised those on low incomes and the most vulnerable, we hope that there is a greater industrial focus moving forward to help drive economic recovery and growth.
For more information please contact Simon Marsh at [email protected] or 07951 389197.
- Businesses who make chemical products and solutions are integral to something like 96% of all manufactured goods. Whether it is ingredients for food and medicines; paints and coatings for cars and planes or materials for mobile phones and electric vehicle batteries, the chemical industry is truly the “industry of industries” – also playing a critical role in the nation’s response to Covid-19 through its supply of hand sanitiser, PPE and vaccine ingredients.
- Chemical businesses are located throughout the UK, with many of them clustered together in the North East of England, North West of England and Central Scotland. These factories and laboratories, operated by a highly trained and skilled workforce, make a significant contribution towards the UK’s productivity performance – double that of any other manufacturing industry and triple that of any part of the UK economy.
- Nearly half a million people are employed in the sector or have roles that are dependent on the sector. Chemical workers typically earn 35% more than other manufacturing industries and 54% more than the average worker.
- From Runcorn to the Humber Bank; from Teesside to Grangemouth, chemical businesses and their employees right across the country are essential to the Government’s levelling-up agenda.
- We are the country’s biggest manufacturing exporter, sending goods to the value of more than £57 billion to other countries. The EU represents our most important market, but we continue to work closely with Government to inform and secure UK trade deals with other key chemical markets such as Japan and the USA.