Manufacturing NI Comments on Budget 18
It a real concern that the OBR believes the UK economy will only grow by 1.6% in 2022. This is sluggish and at a time where is major disruption to the UK’s economic model when it leaves the EU.
“an economy not for the few or the many, but an economy working for everyone” may be a decent line in a Budget statement, but relationships between business and Government have not been worse thanks for the approach to Brexit. He could save the additional £500m to help Departments prepare for a No Deal Brexit if his colleagues in Cabinet would listen to those who create the jobs and wealth.
The £1.6bn for the UK’s new Industrial Strategy is important, but it’s yet to be seen how this can reach the Regions including Northern Ireland.
We are particularly pleased to see an increasing in investment allowances from £200k to £1m per annum. This is very welcome, and a long term ask for MNI as we want to modernise our production facilities.
Any change to the Apprenticeship Levy makes no difference to us, as the money never makes it back to firms in Northern Ireland anyway! Just like the rise in Living Wage, we get the costs but little of the compensation available to support these employment centred costs as in other Regions.
£320m funding (plus more with the rise in the NHS spending) and £350m Belfast City Deal is welcome, but we need a Northern Ireland Executive back in office, so they can spend it!
We have a large packaging manufacturing sector, so it is important that they are supported to meet any new tax proposed for packaging which is less than 30% recycled.