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MPA calls for action on key issues

Nigel Jackson

Association urges government to take action on key issues in the forthcoming Autumn Statement

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) is urging the Government to consider a number of key issues for the upcoming Autumn Statement (Wednesday 3 December) and subsequent Budget, from the Aggregates Levy to the cumulative burden of regulatory costs and measures on the industry and the delivery of roads and infrastructure projects.

In particular, the Association is calling for:

 

  • The Aggregates Levy rate to be frozen in 2015/16 and, following the conclusion of current legal processes, that there is a review process to assess the role and appropriate level for the Levy going forward.
  • The introduction of an Aggregates Levy Community Fund to be considered at a lower cost than the previous Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, with more of a community and biodiversity focus.
  • Measures previously announced to be implemented to compensate the energy-intensive cement and lime industries for the cost of carbon price support.
  • Government to recognize that numerous regulatory costs and measures have a cumulative impact on the ability of industries to operate efficiently and cost-effectively in the UK and to consider how to better monitor and manage these cumulative impacts.
  • Consideration to be given to extending the higher Annual Investment Allowances threshold beyond January 2015.
  • Initiatives under way to encourage prompt payment through the construction supply chain to be expedited so that there is significant and early progress.
  • A continuing focus on the delivery of roads and infrastructure projects already announced and in the pipeline, and sufficient funding for local authorities to ensure adequately maintained local roads and infrastructure.

The MPA’s latest report on the cumulative costs of regulation on the mineral products sector identifies environmental- and planning-based regulatory costs increasing from £324 million in 2013 to £641 million per annum in 2020. These costs, says the Association, are equivalent to 28% of aggregates industry GVA and 7% rising to 49% of cement industry GVA.

Nigel Jackson (pictured), chief executive of the MPA, said: ‘The mineral products industry makes a significant and essential contribution to the UK economy, our turnover is £9 billion per annum and we supply industries with turnovers of £400 billion.

‘MPA members are by some distance the largest suppliers to the construction industry and we have significant manufacturing operations. However, if our members are to realize their full potential in helping to deliver economic growth, further action is needed by government to build on positive recent steps such as the reduction in mineral sector climate change levy costs.

‘For its part, the mineral products and quarrying industry commits for the next Parliament to: invest to ensure long-term mineral products demands are met; invest in improving the skills and safety of its employees and the public; seek opportunities to further reduce carbon emissions; support efficient use of mineral and other resources; and enhance nature conservation and biodiversity.’

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