Britain’s biggest manufacturing exporter, the chemical sector has welcomed a series of announcements in the 2020 Budget.
Reacting to Rishi Sunak’s speech, Steve Elliott, the Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association said “Measures to help support society and business resilience against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have rightly won widespread support. More widely, we believe the measures on transport and further education are essential to build an improved, more balanced economy across the country. UK chemical businesses have long campaigned for such action and we must now get on with it. We were also pleased to see commitments to review key chemical industry priorities such as the apprenticeship levy and business rates.”
He continued “There is also welcome news on the energy and climate change front with confirmation of extension of relief from the Climate Change Levy until 2025 and funding for Carbon Capture and Storage, although more will be needed. However the immediate concern remains in that UK chemical businesses continue to face a crippling disadvantage opposite their international competitors, with energy costs anything up to 65% higher than in some major European economies”.
Elliott concluded “As the industry that invests more than any other in Research & Development, the announcement of an increase in R&D public investment to £22 billion – focussed on both pure and applied research - is encouraging and we look forward to continuing to work with Government on realising this investment to deliver a thriving ‘create and make’ UK business environment.
Nationally, the chemical industry is 113% more productive than the rest of the UK economy. In the north west, the industry is 4.5 times more productive than the rest of the working economy and in the north east 3 times more.
For further information and/or to speak to Steve Elliott please call Simon Marsh 07951 38919