Ceramics leaders welcome budget announcements

The British Ceramic Confederation has welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget announcements on support for businesses affected by Coronavirus, trade, housing and the environment.

The Confederation is pleased to see that the Government will support SME businesses hit by the impact of Coronavirus, including the reimbursement of Statutory Sick Pay and by providing temporary loans.

It also welcomes the news of further financial support for exporters, through expanding the lending capacity of UK Export Finance (UKEF) and increasing the number of international trade advisors based outside London. The Confederation has previously called for a specialist trade advisor, based at the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce in Stoke-on-Trent, to help the ceramics sector across the UK export to new markets.

The inclusion of VAT Postponed Accounting on all imports of goods, including those from the EU, from 1 January 2021, will also provide a welcome boost to manufacturers and has been called for by our members who import raw materials from the EU.

Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation said: “We welcome the Government’s support for UK manufacturers, particularly SMEs, which will mitigate some cash flow issues around leaving the EU.”

The Chancellor’s announcement of increased spending on house building is also good news for UK manufacturers of bricks, clay roof and ceramic wall tiles, clay drainage pipes and sanitaryware.

Dr Cohen said: “Increased government spending on housing is good news, however, it is important that government commitments are matched by prompt delivery. It will also be crucial that UK ceramic manufactured products rather than imports contribute to building our durable, sustainable homes.”

Dr Cohen added: “As an energy-intensive industry, we want to ensure that ceramic manufacturers benefit from any increased funding available in the Energy Innovation Programme to help them to decarbonise.”

She added: “However, the introduction of a Green Gas Levy is extremely concerning and while we are mindful of the need to reduce emissions, we must also not damage the international competitiveness of UK manufacturers.”

Other welcome announcements for the ceramics sector included a freeze on the Aggregates Levy in 2020-21.

As expected, it was also announced that a new Plastic Packaging Tax would be introduced from April 2022 to encourage the use of more sustainable packaging.

—ENDS—                                                                                                        

For further information please contact: Laura Cohen, Chief Executive, British Ceramic Confederation, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2SA.  

Tel:  01782 572845 M: 07827 358613  

E-mail:  laurac@ceramfed.co.uk l www.ceramfed.co.uk

Notes to editors

The British Ceramic Confederation is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry, representing the common and collective interests of all sectors of the industry. Its member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacturing, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity.