Chancellor’s Spring Budget must support investment, growth and net zero, says Association
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to make the UK a competitive investment choice, supporting the industry’s transition to net zero, while promoting growth and tackling inflation.
In its policy recommendations for the Spring Budget 2023, the MPA urges the Chancellor to retain the super-deduction on new plant and machinery – set to end on 31 March 2023 – and reconsider its plans to increase corporation tax from April.
That, says the MPA, would help producers of construction materials and industrial minerals to invest more in practical solutions to help the UK to deliver its decarbonization goals, as would clear proposals on a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and an urgent removal of the cost of the Carbon Price Support from energy-intensive industries’ energy bills.
The MPA submission calls for measures to encourage growth, including a medium-term freeze to the Aggregates Levy and temporary relief for sectors that had their red diesel entitlement removed but do not yet have access to machinery capable of using alternatives. Proposals have also been put forward to tackle inflation and support the delivery of major infrastructure projects through a more strategic approach to minerals planning.
Jon Prichard, chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘The anticipated changes to the super-deduction and the rate of corporation tax will move Britain from an optimistic 5th to a dismal 30th in the International Tax Competitiveness Index. This represents a huge barrier to the investment needed for new housing and infrastructure, alongside our transition to net zero, and addressing these issues is a top priority for MPA members.’
Robert McIlveen, MPA director of public affairs, commented: ‘Producers of mineral products are clear that there is a range of challenges that the Chancellor could tackle in his Budget, all of which would help support the Government’s goals of investment and growth. The mineral products sector is keen to deliver for the UK economy, and a better tax and policy framework would help secure the investment needed for the UK sector.’
Aurelie Delannoy, MPA director of economic affairs, added: ‘It would seem a counter-intuitive strategy for the Government to scale down support for business investment and increase taxes at a time when the economy is heading for recession and industry is battling soaring inflationary pressures. Extending the super-deduction would be a first step towards supporting businesses in this challenging economic environment, to encourage short- and medium-term growth.’