Gifts Today magazine

Budgeting ceramics

Ceramics Industry awaits further detail on announcements made in the Summer 2015 Budget

Budget 2015 gave a positive message about the future prospects for the economy, but emphasised that more work is required in order to reach the target of a budget surplus by 2019-2020.

Lauren Darby (pictured), Sustainability Manager at BCC commented that “although a number of announcements are of interest to the ceramics sector; until further details are released it is difficult to gauge their full impact.

"However we are really pleased that the Chancellor has taken the opportunity to raise the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000 per year for SMEs. This will help stimulate capital investment and so improve manufacturing productivity at a critical stage in the UK economic recovery”.

News of a Plan for Productivity is a positive step and we look forward to its publication on Friday to see how plans for the UK to be the most prosperous major economy in the world will be realised.

One area where it has been acknowledged that the UK falls short is skills and training. The Government’s commitment to high quality apprenticeships is welcome, but an Apprenticeship Levy on all large businesses may not be universally popular. We await further details and to see whether smaller companies will be supported.

The implications of introducing a new national living wage in 2016 are not yet fully understood. Once further information is released we will be able to assess the impact on the ceramics sector.

The cutting of Corporation tax rate to 19% in 2017, and 18% in 2018 is good news for businesses and reflects the Government’s commitment to reducing tax.

We had hoped to see more opportunities to work in partnership with Government to support more UK production of construction products to help boost the UK economy, increase jobs in manufacturing and improve balance of trade. Planning reforms to be announced on Friday may contain welcome news.

Little attention was given to energy in the budget, although the Government’s proposal for a review of the business energy efficiency tax landscape and approaches to simplification and improve effectiveness is appreciated. We look forward to the consultation in autumn.

The Government has indicated that it will continue to promote low carbon investment and innovation to support action on climate change, but we are disappointed that no tangible measures have been announced. As a responsible sector that has worked with Government to develop a decarbonisation and energy efficiency roadmap, extra funding and extension of the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme to cover a broader range of heat reduction technologies would have furthered this work, while providing value for money.

As we had expected, Government has announced that the Aggregates Levy exemptions will be reinstated. This confirms that from 1 August 2015 businesses can stop paying tax on exempted materials and reclaim tax paid on these since the exemptions were suspended in April 2014.

About The British Ceramic Confederation
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 100 member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacture, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity. A full list of members of the British Ceramic Confederation is available on request.

The British Ceramic Confederation Budget 2015 submission is at:

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