By World Infrastructure Journal-
As manufacturers face an uphill climb following the grueling economic impact of lockdown, Make UK have proposed new schemes and plans for the treasury to ensure that Business do not go under and that job losses mitigated.
Make UK’s recommendations are supported by data in its latest Manufacturing Monitor Survey. Results show the number of companies planning to make redundancies in the next six months leapt from a quarter at the end of May to 42 per cent. Additionally, almost one in ten companies say they plan to make between a quarter and half their employees redundant.
Some businesses also estimate that demand is unlikely to recover for some time, if at all. As many companies begin to move from furlough they must venture into implementing restructuring plans.
Key recommendations include:
· Scrappage scheme for digital investments based on enhanced reductions on business rates or on corporation tax
· Roll out the Made Smarter initiative of industrial digitalisation across the UK
· Increase incentives for R&D spend including expanding the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
· Increase investment allowances for smart technologies
· Acceleration in national rollout of 5G and ultrafast broadband
· Industrial energy efficiency schemes
· Increased investment allowances for ‘green investments’
· Exempt green and smart investments from counting towards the ratable value of business premises
· Incentives for businesses and training providers in order to retrain employees with green skills
· Fund a national supply chain mapping project to identify critical sectors and gaps while promoting supply resilience and reshoring production to the UK
· Increase resource and participation in Trade Accessing Programmes and other trade events
· Boost the skills fund to support the export training base
· Widen access to export finance, insurance and other guarantee schemes
Make UK has also called for immediate measures including relief on business rates for industry like that already granted for the retail sector, which is supported by 61 per cent of businesses.
Commenting on the harsh economic conditions facing the UK after the easing of the lockdown, Stephen Phipson, Make UK Chief Executive, said: “Conditions are still very tough for many companies with disruption likely to continue for some time… in the short term it’s essential that the Chancellor uses the full armory of economic weapons at his disposal to safeguard as many jobs and livelihoods as possible. ”
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