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News

Taking the positives for manufacturing from UK Budget 2015

MHA : 19 March, 2015  (Special Report)
According to Chris Coopey, Head of the Manufacturing Group at MHA, the national association of independent accountants, George Osborne’s Budget speech resulted in a raft of announcements that are largely seen as positives for the manufacturing and engineering sector.
Taking the positives for manufacturing from UK Budget 2015

From general measures such as the cut in Corporation Tax to 20% and the freezing of fuel duty rates to specific incentives related to new enterprise zones, support for North Sea Oil, energy cost support and the development of driverless technology, this Budget demonstrates that at long last, governments are smelling the coffee and realising how much the country can benefit from growing its manufacturing base. The announcements on R&D Tax Credits were particularly welcome. There has been some uncertainty around the future of the scheme which is incredibly valuable in keeping the UK at the forefront of both design and process innovation.

With improvements for both the large and small business schemes, together with a campaign to increase awareness amongst SMEs, the Chancellor is incentivising the sector to innovate, which has to be the answer to growing the UK’s global share of manufactured goods.

One area that the Budget didn’t really address was around the skills gap. Going forward, governments need to take skills out of the departmental silo that it seems to fall into. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) should be funded and tasked to develop our future workforce from secondary school level up, in a way that means that they, rather than the DfE, develop the curriculum to start to produce the many thousands of engineers that we currently lack.

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