Budget 2014 pledges ‘radical package’ for UK manufacturing

The 2014 Budget speech delivered in Parliament by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne promised a “radical package” of measures to help those in the UK manufacturing sector.

In a Red Book that calls business investment “critical” to long-term economic growth and a speech renewing the need for Britain to appear ‘open for business’, several measures were outlined with the general aim of boosting UK manufacturing performance and exports.

Among them, the government is doubling the Annual Investment Allowance, which offers 100% upfront relief on plant and machinery purchases, to £500,000 from April through until the end of 2015.

The Red Book states: “Budget 2014 contains a radical package to support the manufacturing sector … This will secure long-term economic prosperity and ensure that growth is balanced across all sectors and throughout the UK.”

While the government are working to boost British exports though, imports are to remain an important sourcing option for British firms of all kinds in the years ahead.

The Office for Budget Responsibility publishes its own economic forecasts in the Red Book, and expects to see steady growth in imports in the years ahead.

Growth is predicted to be 3% in 2014; 4.3% in 2015; and 4.7-4.8% in following three years – proof that, alongside a focus on domestic manufacturing, British firms are still awakening to the benefits of sourcing high-quality components and other materials from overseas.