The CPA has previously produced a study of the factors underpinning investment in the construction products industry
The CPA has consistently made the case for the UK to be an attractive, competitive place for construction product manufacturers to do business. Government policies should offer manufacturers a level playing field with international competitors to ensure investment in their businesses. We have called for:
A Reform of Business Rates and Investment Allowances: The CPA has lent its voice to calls made across industry, including the CBI and Make UK, for a fundamental reform of the Business Rates system. Currently manufacturers are penalised for investing in new plant and machinery, with charges levied on investments including green technologies such as renewable energy. In some cases the prospect of additional rate charges is enough to prevent investment or shift it overseas.
Government should allow tax deductible allowances for all capital expenditure (plant and machinery) as well as green investments (e.g. energy efficiency improvements or green technology). Such a measure would counteract the effects of a lack of cash flow which will continue to suppress investment for some time. It would spur much needed investment in capital expenditure, support Government and industry efforts in achieving net-zero and position the UK as leader in manufacturing.
A secure, low-carbon energy supply at a competitive price: Rising energy prices have rapidly gained headlines in the recent months, but UK electricity prices have for years remained stubbornly amongst the highest in Europe, and these costs can amount to a third of an operation’s overhead. Industry is committed to securing a transition to a low-carbon economy and has invested in the latest technologies to improve energy efficiency within their factories. Many companies, however – particularly in the energy-intensive sectors – argue that they have begun to reach the technical limits of improving their manufacturing processes and now have serious concerns about their ability to compete fairly with international companies not subject to UK-specific energy and climate change policies. Government should address the demand management, low-carbon generation and storage issues that currently surround the energy sector.
Investment in technical skills for future green, digital jobs: The CPA echoes calls from Make UK to introduce apprenticeship incentives for areas of skill shortages, such as construction and manufacturing. Allowing greater flexibility for how and when manufacturers can spend their apprenticeship levy funds will also help boost the quality and quantity of apprenticeships, allowing manufacturers to invest in the green, digitalised jobs of the future. Committing to continue the funding of traineeships is another important requirement to attract more talent into the industry. With labour shortages across the manufacturing and construction sectors, a working skills policy is vital to achieving much needed growth and opportunity.
For more information contact Matt McKeown.