UK political parties need to focus on process industries
01 May 2015
Whichever party wins the UK General Election, here’s hoping they give serious consideration to the many challenges facing the process industries in the UK. With the North Sea oil and gas industry winding down, politicians and industry must start planning for the future as a matter of urgency. The development of onshore resources should be an important part of any future energy policy, alongside a continued focus on new nuclear and renewables, as
As regards the downstream sector, the last five years has seen three UK refinery closures and many of the remainder are also close to the edge. Margins have been squeezed too far, with UK tax and EU regulatory regimes real issues. High UK energy costs and new EU emissions directives are key challenges for the chemical sector.
The automotive, aerospace and pharmaceutical industries have benefited strongly from close government support over the last five years, which shows how enlightened engagement by politicians can deliver rapid dividends. The Patent Box is another example of this, and with infrastructure higher on the agenda than at any time in recent memory, there is a real opportunity to drive long-term economic growth and job creation, regenerating our communities and improving quality of life.