The British Ceramic Confederation has welcomed support for the hospitality sector in the 2021 Budget but expressed disappointment that financial support had not been extended to the supply chains of badly hit sectors – and warned that the newly announced freeports could hit UK manufacturers.
Technical director Dr Andrew McDermott said: “Many ceramics manufacturers have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19 on hospitality businesses, so we welcome the continued financial support announced today to help that sector back onto its feet, including the extension of the job retention scheme.
“However, we would have liked to see the extension of financial support into the supply chains of badly hit sectors (for example hospitality, aviation, construction and retail) to avoid compounding the economic damage and assist recovery.
“Our members who supply the construction industry will welcome the extended stamp duty holiday and the 95 per cent mortgage guarantee. We were also pleased to hear that companies will be able to cut their tax bill by claiming 130 per cent of their spend on new machinery.
“We had hoped that the Chancellor would announce more explicit support for UK manufacturers, including a commitment to buy British wherever possible, and we are concerned that freeports using tariff-free imported materials to assemble a product, such as in off-site construction, will seriously undermine domestic manufacture.”