The chemical and pharmaceutical industry has broadly welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget Statement. Ahead of a meeting with businesses in the north west of England, the Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association, Steve Elliott said “the measures announced on business energy tax reform, regional science audits and productivity - coupled with infrastructure investment – will be eagerly awaited by the businesses in our membership. The UK chemicals sector is the fastest growing in Europe and it is essential that these initiatives help strengthen that performance.”
“In our submission we urged George Osborne to stop and look at the cumulative impact of green taxes and I am pleased he has agreed to do that. The energy intensive industries need to see reductions in the UK’s ever-escalating policy related costs which will hit investment and productivity if we do not take action now. While welcoming a sovereign wealth fund for communities that host shale gas development, I want to see further urgent progress to deliver this unique opportunity for our country and for local people to benefit.” he continued.
Elliott added, “We also stressed the need for public innovation expenditure to be strengthened and I hope the regional science audits will lead to that - and do not get side-tracked from the global challenge and opportunity facing UK chemical businesses and the country.”
Elliott, who will confirm on Thursday that the chemical and pharmaceutical sector has improved productivity by 10% since the beginning of the crisis, welcomed the productivity plan and looked forward to further engagement on this.
- 2014 chemical industry growth was 3.7%
- We contribute £60m of Added Value every single working day (over £15bn a year) to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product
- Our exports are nearly £50bn each year – we are the UK’s number one manufacturing exporter
- The growth in jobs has been an astonishing - 11% in the chemicals sector and 10% in the pharmaceutical industry
- We have a total of 30,000 full-time equivalent roles in research and development showing the strength of the UK’s expanding science base
- The £4bn we spend on capital expenditure represents a 7% real terms annual increase