Impending delivery of the UK’s emergency budget on 22 June has prompted the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to call for a raft of automotive initiatives.

SMMT is specifically calling for access to affordable credit to encourage renewed investment, although it cautions against raising VAT (sales tax), which it says, could depress demand for private vehicles.

Other measures the SMMT wants the chancellor to consider include incentivising the purchase of lower emission vehicles, retaining the company car tax rules due to be phased in from 2010-2015 and linking fuel tax more clearly to world oil trends, fiscal needs and business user cost.

SMMT also wants consistency in tax credit provision to encourage new technologt, while it has reservations concerning the changes to relief allowances and credits that may be required to achieve lower taxes. The body also wants loan guarantees to remain in place focused on providing medium-term aid to the sector.

It welcomes however, the new government’s plans to achieve a lower rate of corporation tax, as well as the development of the Automotive Council and the Supply Chain Councils.
“The potential for growth in the automotive industry makes the sector crucial to the UK’s long-term economic development,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. “It is vital government takes the necessary steps to nurture business and consumer confidence.

“There are undoubtedly tough times ahead and government action to ease access to affordable finance will help support private sector investment in important skills and technologies needed for the long term.”