The BPF co-ordinated Seven Association Alliance, including manufacturing organisations that represent the plastics, rubber, coatings and associated machinery and tool making sectors, has written an open letter to George Osborne in anticipation of the Autumn Statement.
The manufacturing organisations collectively represent 310, 000 employees from 6,100 companies and have confirmed that an economic recovery is firmly underway. Drawing upon the GDP figures for manufacturing that illustrate a rise of 0.9% for the second consecutive quarter, the Associations have stated that this could be improved if there is a stronger business investment and higher export levels.
The Alliance has put forward a number of proposals for Government action.
In the sector of Housing and Construction, it has been proposed that a review takes place of the “Green Deal” due to only 12 properties having benefitted from the scheme. In addition to this, the pay back has been deemed to be unattractive and the scheme complex.
Energy security of supply and cost is an issue that has gained a great deal of media attention in recent months. This is something the Alliance has also addressed in its open letter. With energy prices rising, the Government has been urged to act with more urgency to ensure that energy costs to industry are kept low and affordable. The benefits of shale gas also need to be deployed swiftly, according to the seven manufacturing organisations, as it will not only supply them with less expensive energy but will also provide raw materials vital to a thriving UK chemicals and plastics industry. The agreement to proceed with the creation of two nuclear reactors at Hinckley Point is welcomed by the Alliance. However as these will not be operational until 2023 the introduction of additional reactors has been called for.
With UK Landfill capacity filling up quickly, the Alliance has asked the Government to greatly increase Landfill Tax to £200 per tonne. This would ensure that recyclable waste from landfills is diverted and transformed into valuable resources after recycling.
Another topic which the open letter covers is business investment and innovation. While overall investment rose 0.8% in the 2nd Quarter, business investment dropped by 2.7% and was down 8.5% on the previous year. The BPF co-ordinated group of organisations believe that business investment is being held back by availability of finance. In addition to this only a mere 16% of UK businesses see product innovation as a priority, which is less than half of the 33% of global companies who place the highest value on this. With limited resources the Government has decided to back a few ‘winners’ in strategic sectors.However the creation of a wider raft of new initiatives across manufacturing has been called for to show SMEs the benefit of innovation.
Whilst the preservation of the environment is of great important to the Alliance, it does not feel that ‘pointless green taxes’ are of benefit to hard-pressed households who are already struggling for money. With the proposed 5p charge for plastic bags, the co-ordinated group of seven organisations hope the Government will reconsider this unnecessary charge.
You can read the full open letter on the BPF website www.bpf.co.uk
For all media enquiries, BPF logos and images, please contact Laura Hindley, Communications and Industrial Issues Executive on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 457 5043
Notes for editors:
British Plastics Federation (BPF) is the UK trade association for the plastics industry – representing the whole supply chain including polymer producers, distributors, additives suppliers, machinery manufacturers, processors and recyclers.