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Moving to a brighter future

By Chris Barrett
13th Dec 2023

As I sit here writing this article on the eve of another weather storm due to hit the UK, having seen so many in recent weeks, it also feels like another is brewing within the Government, as we build up to an Autumn Statement being delivered by the Chancellor.

By the time this newsletter is published, we will have seen the Chancellor stand up and deliver his update and projections on the UK economy.

What I am sure we all wish to see is the plans being proposed to drive future growth both locally and nationally, and what part will the manufacturing sector provide to achieve this.

In return, will the Chancellor be looking to loosen the purse strings in advance of next year’s Budget, to provide further support and incentives to manufacturers, to enable increased investment, and will he ensure stronger local infrastructure for businesses to call upon?

At the moment there doesn’t appear to be a sway of economists expecting too much to be given away this month, but who knows what rabbit may be pulled out as we approach the 22nd.

We appear to be standing on the threshold of opportunity, to decide upon how we move forward, with ongoing trade agreement negotiations taking place with differing countries, and inflation beginning to move in the right direction. Skilled resource still continues to be challenging, whilst driving efficiencies will certainly accelerate.

However, the combat used by the Bank of England to deal with inflation has been to raise interest rates 14 times since 2021 to 5.25%. These rises appear to have stabilised with no additional increases to have taken place in the last two months, and therefore hopefully provide certainty to manufacturers when investing, but hoping the Government will provide further incentives to do so in the next two weeks.

Aside from inflation, having recently read articles in regard to the AI Summit held in the UK, it will be very interesting to see how this landscape will evolve for the manufacturing industry, and the hope it provides to combat some of the difficulties in recruitment & efficiencies – but will once again require sustainable investment by Government in the coming months and years ahead.

We all wish to see us working toward a brighter future, and manufacturers will continue to play a huge part in doing so – which is why it is great to see UK manufacturing move from 9th to 8th in the world.

Following our theme of investment incentives & opportunity, included within our current edition is Corporate Tax Director, Josh Smith, explaining the changes following the Spring Budget in regards to Capital Allowances, plus Ann Minson, also Corporate Tax Director, detailing further information on the Summer changes to R&D tax relief and what to watch out for in 2024.

I hope you enjoy reading this edition and wish you all a successful conclusion to 2023 and an enjoyable Christmas and Happy New Year.

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