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Chemical industry could lead the UK out of current recession

17 November 2008

Chemical industry leaders have called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support the role industry can play in leading the UK out of recession by taking a few key measures to support chemical businesses. Chemical industry products are the raw materials for every other manufacturing industry. A few affordable changes could make all the difference.

Huntsman Tioxide Grimsby
Huntsman Tioxide Grimsby

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the UK Chemical Industries Association said: "with just a few affordable changes to tax and regulations, sectors like the chemical industry would be in a stronger position. In next week's Pre-Budget Report Elliot wants to see:
Government underwriting, at least on a temporary basis, of the Pension Protection Fund. The PPF in its current form risks forcing schemes and even Businesses to close

Increasing the scope of the recently introduced Annual Investment Allowance. The present £50K limit is too low for capital-intensive industries like chemicals

Government underwriting of credit insurance. Many companies use credit insurance to protect against default on payment. Credit insurance companies are taking an extremely cautious view and withdrawing cover from very large numbers of customers, leaving businesses exposed.

Scrapping the current proposals for changes to the taxation of overseas earnings, which are in danger of making the UK a less attractive place to keep company Head Offices

"In his Pre-Budget Report, Alistair Darling has the opportunity to take decisive action. If he does so I hope we can avoid factory closures, and keep the wheels of industry turning through this difficult time," said Elliot.
"Chemical businesses make products to tackle climate change and provide well paid jobs. They are also essential to the economic solution. Year on year the chemical industry in the UK delivers a trade surplus for this country, currently £3 billion. I want this to continue, but at the moment crippling costs and other egulatory proposals such as the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme are threatening future investment and jobs. The changes we have outlined to Government will help promote the UK as the right place to invest û both now and in the future."

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