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Reactions to UK Autumn Statement

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Edison

The Edison view on the Autumn Statement and the oil sector is, ‘little support for a North Sea oil industry that could see profits half in the coming year and could lead to a tax hole of £ 2 billion unless prices recover or costs fall significantly.’

Ian McLelland, Analyst at Edison commented, “there was very little support in today’s Autumn statement for a North Sea oil industry that could see profits half in the coming year on the back of falling oil prices. The modest 2% reduction in the supplementary charge and extension of the ring fence expenditure supplement will do little to encourage discretionary investment in a sub US$80/bbl world, leaving E&Ps still paying 60% tax compared with 20 – 21% across other industries. This is still 10% above the level of taxation being levied on the industry pre 2011 when oil prices were in line with where they are today. As well as hitting investment, we anticipate this could lead to a tax hole of £2 billion in 2015 unless prices recover or costs fall significantly.”

FairFuelUK

Quentin Willson said, “the FairFuelUK Campaign welcomes the continual freeze on Fuel Duty by the Chancellor in today’s Autumn Statement but his tax take is now approaching 70%. He could of done more. He knows along with the IMF that cutting fuel prices is good for GDP, new jobs and inflation. He also did not call for an Oil Price Enquiry to investigate why the recent massive fall in oil prices have not been reflected similarly at the pumps in terms of the right amount and timing. Marks out of 10 is 6. Could do better.”

Innovate UK

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of Innovate UK said, “this Autumn Statement is a huge vote of confidence in innovative business up and down the country. The extra support and new centre in the high value manufacturing catapult that Innovate UK are setting up shows just how valuable the catapults are to business, and how successful they have been in transforming the innovation landscape[…]The Statement also helps innovative businesses bottom lines by increasing the tax credits for R&D and looking to make the process easier for small firms, so they can concentrate on what they went into business for, rather than worrying about the tax man.”

Institution of Engineering and Technology

Paul Davies, IET Head of Policy said, “innovation is important to the UK as it affords an opportunity to create new high value jobs to contribute to an improved UK economy. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of the role government plays in successful innovation in business. The extra finance announced will help the UK lead the next generation of technologies such as printable electronics, robotics, and carbon fibre composites here in the UK. This investment will help around 250 more UK companies get new and better products that they need to go to market faster in key manufacturing sectors like aerospace and automotive. This is expected to generate an additional £745 million on the UK economy.”

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Colin Brown, Director of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said the following on education and skills:

“Proposals to cut National Insurance for companies employing apprentices under 25 is encouraging, but we need to ensure that all apprentices meet the rigorous standards of engineering apprenticeships and really do provide people with the skills and knowledge to prosper. These apprenticeships should be in industries where there is a real potential for jobs, like engineering, and that standards are verified through accreditation by bodies such as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

“Plans to invest £20 million to improve careers advice and support for young people, while positive, fall far shot of what is needed. UK careers advice for teenagers is sorely lacking and too few young people have real opportunity to find out about the range of career opportunities on offer. Furthermore, in the absence of professional face to face support, the people who end up providing the careers advice rarely have the experience or knowledge needed to provide informed advice to students. Good careers advice provided by teachers with an understanding of business and industry in their local area is an engine of social mobility. It is also vital for ensuring we get people with the right skills entering industries like engineering, which is so vital for success.”

On transport and infrastructure Brown said, “the investment planned for the UK’s road network is clearly good news but we need to ensure that the Government follows an integrated approach to the country’s transport infrastructure, which takes into account new developments like HS2 and Crossrail. We also need cross party agreement on major infrastructure projects, as the country cannot afford to start/stop on these major investments and we need confidence and a long term vision to ensure we have the right skills available to deliver these projects.”


Edited from press statements by Claira Lloyd

Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/special-reports/04122014/autumn-statement-2015-reactions/


 

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