An influential group of cross-party MPs has published an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne urging the Treasury to include in the forthcoming Autumn Statement key measures to boost UK manufacturing.
In the letter, the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group insists there is “substantial cross-party consensus on policies to support our manufacturing industries” that, the group believes will contribute greatly to the UK’s industrial renewal.
The letter makes three key recommendations for policy change following “extensive consultation” between the group’s parliamentarians and its associate members. These include providing capital allowances at 100% for two years and a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Fund.
The letter is signed by three Conservative MPs, two Labour MPs and one Liberal Democrat MP.
The associate membership of the group comprises over 20 leading manufacturing companies from across industry, including EEF, the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, the Institution for Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The recommendations are:
1. The Government should reintroduce capital allowances at 100% for two years.
2. The Government should immediately re-examine the take-up of enterprise finance and loan guarantees, with a greater emphasis on the quality of the interface between manufacturers and providers (banks).
3. The Government should create a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Fund, which would seek to reduce the costs of higher level apprenticeships in engineering and related disciplines – ideally through meeting the wage costs of the apprentice.
Before the letter was published, Chris White MP, co-chair of the APMG, said: “If we are going to spark a manufacturing-led recovery, then we need urgently to create the system and the conditions the sector needs to thrive.
Now, half-way through this Parliament, this Autumn Statement provides a gilt-edged opportunity for the Chancellor to demonstrate clearly that this Coalition Government is serious about boosting UK manufacturing, and driving long-term, sustainable economic growth”.
Click here to read the APMG’s open letter.