Autumn Statement 2022: BCC comment
Rob Flello, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the fact we are in recession means there’s no let-up on the pressures already affecting industry.
“Over the past year, the UK ceramics sector has faced unprecedented leaps in energy costs, and we welcome the Government’s decision to stick with their plan to help households and businesses with their energy bills.
“The UK ceramic sector, along with other Foundation Industries, needs to be a Government priority next year for further protection and support from April.
“Long-term support aids long-term growth; we look forward to further discussions about supporting the UK ceramics industry, on which the British economy depends.
“UK ceramics is at the very heart of a strong, stable manufacturing backbone for the country. Without the brick, tile, and clay pipe manufacturers there would be no housebuilding; there is no glass or steel industry without refractories.
“Significantly reducing energy consumption by industry as soon as 2030 risks the future of the UK ceramics sector without developing and deploying technologies that make it possible.
“In setting arbitrary targets, Government must make sure that industry has the commercial technology to make that transition.
“As regards energy, industry in particular needs reliability and security. Therefore, we welcome an acceleration of home-grown technologies in pushing for energy independence and the launch of a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce.
“This sector is playing its part so that we can make a successful transition from natural gas to an alternative fuel. In fact, the British Ceramic Confederation members are already spearheading research into the use of hydrogen.
“Further dialogue is also required on the decision to remove import tariffs on over 100 goods used by UK businesses in their production processes and how this may impact on UK ceramic manufacturers.”