Government called on to invest in infrastructure rather than accepting managed declineAHEAD of the Autumn Statement on 22 November, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt urging the Government to invest in Britain’s infrastructure rather than accepting a managed decline.
Prompted by the Government’s decision to cancel Phase 2 of HS2, compounding already poor delivery of UK infrastructure projects (including Road Investment Strategies 1 and 2), the MPA’s letter sets out how the mineral products sector relies on the UK being a competitive place to invest.
But the MPA expresses concern that poor delivery of UK public infrastructure projects is significantly affecting investor confidence. With a turnover of £22 billion, the UK construction materials and industrial minerals sector represents the biggest flow of materials in the UK economy.
Beyond project delivery, the MPA is also calling on the Government to set the right policy framework to support continued investment in the essential UK mineral products sector. For example, a top priority in this Autumn Statement is a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) which the MPA wants to see come into force in 2026 to match the EU’s equivalent policy, providing a ‘level playing field’ on carbon cost for materials such as cement.
MPA chief executive Jon Prichard said: ‘Our industry has the potential to grow – and to support growth in other UK sectors – while at the same time responding to the challenges of decarbonization and leading the transition to net zero. We also make a significant contribution to levelling up the economy across the UK.
‘We have great capability and we stand ready to deliver the essential materials required for the modern infrastructure, buildings, and homes that Britain needs as part of a growing economy. We therefore urge the Chancellor to show commitment to investing in the infrastructure that underpins and supports growth, rather than accepting a managed decline.’