Budget for brickies must benefit UK manufacturing

20 Mar 2013 | 02:07 pm | 1 min. read

Jayne Hussey, a Partner at international law firm Pinsent Masons who specialises in advising some of the UK's largest manufacturers, says: "In 2011 George Osborne talked about the 'march of the makers', but today's Budget might be better characterised as the 'budget for brickies'. However, UK manufacturers should benefit from that."

"All of the bricks and mortar - and all sorts of technical components needed in complex infrastructure projects - needs to be sourced and it would be an opportunity missed were British manufacturers not to share in the upside. The Treasury would doubtless find it galling if the UK supply chain does not see at least some of the money, and it will be key for UK manufacturers to be properly supported so that they are able to win this downstream business.

"However, the investment in infrastructure project of £3bn is scheduled to be released in 15/16 – so this is not going to have the immediate positive impact required for manufacturers supplying into the sector."

"Some manufacturers will feel that "sound bites" have triumphed over detail. The Chancellor says he supports "apprenticeships" but then isn’t clear as to how that support will manifest itself - perhaps through a contribution to employment costs?
"At an international level, UK exports remain stubbornly overly-reliant on the Eurozone despite the best efforts of the country's manufacturers, and there seems little in today's announcement focussing on alleviating that. Industry desperately needs firm support in accessing fast-growing economies, and work still needs to be done to de-risk access to new markets while keeping red tape in check. Things like high export tarriffs and compliance with UK bribery rules remain a challenge for UK exporters."

"The cut on corporation tax will be welcomed, but when UK manufacturers lobby government for support, I think they had something more ambitious in mind than boosting the ceramic industry in the Potteries." 

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