UK: SMMT sets out automotive wish-list ahead of Budget
Britain's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is urging the UK government ensures this week's (20 March) budget reflects the automotive sector's push for growth.
"The UK automotive industry works very closely with government which, in recent years, has led to significant inward investment," said SMMT interim chief executive, Mike Baunton.
"However, we cannot be complacent. To ensure we remain one of the leading destinations for direct investment, and to build upon the commitments already made, it is imperative the overall UK business environment is competitive and provides a distinct rationale and incentive for companies to invest.
"SMMT calls on the Chancellor [George Osborne] to spearhead a proactive government, support innovation, grow the low and ultra-low carbon vehicle market in the UK, and support opportunities in the supply chain, particularly in access to finance. We urge him to continue to develop the UK's flexible workforce and importantly, we need him and his colleagues in government to provide a strong voice in Europe."
Specific actions the SMMT is calling for include a revised company car tax from 2015 with greater differentiation below 95g/km and significant levels of incentive for ultra-low carbon vehicles, as well as asking the government to review its 2012 decision to change the writing-down capital allowance threshold for new vehicles.
The association is also asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reverse the decision to remove the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) exemption rule from the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme and support the Automotive Advanced Propulsion Centre.
The SMMT is equally urging support for a stronger supply chain by UK commitment to the Regional Growth Fund as well as the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Fund and put them on a permanent footing.