BMF give thumbs up
It was not just for pensioners, boozers, and Bingo-players, but for boat-builders, too, according to the BMF’s reaction to George Osborne’s Budget.
‘The British Marine Federation was pleased to see support for manufacturers sitting at the heart of the statement and hopes that it will deliver tangible support for the leisure marine industry,’ a spokesman said.
Buoyed by the latest economic data that revises economic growth for 2014 to 2.7% and puts employment at record levels, the Chancellor detailed a raft of measures designed to back British businesses and sustain the economic recovery. Most broadly, the reduction in corporation tax rates will continue down to 21% and settle at 20% next year, but new initiatives will be implemented specifically to foster a “Britain that makes things again”.
More Exports – British businesses wanting to export will be afforded the most competitive export finance in Europe. The direct lending programme managed by UK Export Finance will be doubled in size to £3 billion and interest rates will be reduced to the lowest permitted levels allowed.
More Apprentices – Meanwhile, job opportunities for young people featured heavily. The government is building on the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers scheme by providing an extra £85 million in both 2014-15 and 2015-16 for over 100,000 grants to employers. In addition, under 21s will be exempt from National Insurance Contributions altogether.
More Investment – To continue to support business investment, the government is doubling the annual investment allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015. This will particularly benefit small and medium sized firms, meaning that 99.8% of businesses will receive 100% up-front relief on their qualifying investment in plant and machinery.
Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation, said:
“We welcome the emphasis on supporting British business in the Budget statement, specifically the additional help announced for manufacturers and exporters. The UK leisure marine industry is a national success story and many of the initiatives in this Budget should help to support the sector’s global reputation for innovation, good design and quality.
“However, as the Government focuses on exporting the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp across the world, we hope it does not lose sight of some of the issues closer to home. UK tourism is one of our country’s most valuable industries, with boating tourism alone contributing £3.7 billion to the economy last year, yet the sector received little attention in the Budget.
“Many of our members based on the coast and inland waterways were badly affected by the recent flooding and, while new funding announced today for flood defences will help to maintain the resilience of the sector, we hope that the Government will recognise the need to promote boating related tourism which is an important contributor to employment and local economies all around the UK.”