The Chancellor delivered his much awaited Summer Statement today to a mixed reaction from the manufacturing community.
At the heart of his announcement was the launch of a job retention bonus scheme to encourage companies to bring back workers as the furlough scheme is phased out. Under the scheme, companies who bring back furloughed employees until the end of January will receive a one-off £1,000 payment for each worker.
The chancellor also announced he would be slashing VAT on tourism and hospitality to 5% alongside an immediate stamp duty holiday for the property sector. But he ruled out further extensions to the job retention scheme with furlough set to come to an end in October as previously planned.
Commenting on the announcements, David Nicklin, said:
“Given his big-ticket economic interventions to date, there were always going to be high expectations of the Chancellor today. Many manufacturers continue to struggle with cashflow issues right now so the job retention bonus scheme is a welcome move that will go some way to help employers protect jobs that otherwise may been under threat due to cost pressures.
“The key now will be for the Chancellor to build on these measures at the forthcoming Autumn Budget. Manufacturers face a rocky road ahead over the coming months and are sure to need access to further support down the line as they look to rebuild supply chains, shore up order books and get to grips with a range of new commercial realities, especially with the UK’s exit from the EU looming on the horizon.”
Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of UK manufacturing industry body, Make UK, added:
“Industry will applaud the Chancellor’s bold intent which will spur the process of rebuilding business confidence and healing the economy. Manufacturers were already at the forefront of a new digital era and the crisis has shot them forward into a future economy where there will be new jobs which will require new skills.
“This is not the beginning of the end of this crisis, however, but perhaps the end of the beginning as far as the economy is concerned. Moving forward, just as industry has shown how flexible and innovative it can be at a time of national need, then Government will need to be equally flexible and innovative in dealing with the after effects which will undoubtedly require further action at some stage. Manufacturers stand ready to work with Government to do whatever it takes to boost growth and livelihoods across the whole of the UK.”
The Autumn Budget is expected to take place in October.