Government ‘must change direction to help ceramics firms’

Ceramics manufacturers are calling on the government to review its policy on energy taxes to give them a better chance of competing on the world stage.

It is estimated that UK ceramics companies spend up to 35% of total production costs on gas and electricity, with prices in the EU already two to four times higher than in countries such as the US and Russia.

Now, the British Ceramic Confederation (BCC) is demanding measures to create a more level playing field with overseas competitors.

Chief executive Dr Laura Cohen, pictured, has written to Chancellor George Osborne outlining her concerns and urging him to address the situation in his forthcoming Budget.

She wants greater capital allowances to help improve energy efficiency and is calling for a higher proportion of environmental taxes to be returned to the sector.

Dr Cohen said: "The need to maintain diversity and security of energy supply and the scale of emission reductions targets must be balanced against the ability of the manufacturing industry to pay. Many firms have already invested in the latest technology to improve efficiency to the maximum level possible.

"The cumulative UK energy tax regime is extremely challenging and threatens company survival in the medium term as extra green taxes are likely to exceed current profits in many more companies within the next few years."

A full copy of the letter sent to the Chancellor can be viewed at here

Author
Laura Hopperton

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