Chancellor’s autumn statement fails to send right signals – EEF

budget-box-300The Chancellor did too little in his autumn mini budget to support the investment that will secure recovery, said the manufacturers’ organisation EEF.

In a response resonant only of faint praise,  EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said that although the Statement contained some useful measures on apprenticeships, skills and business rates, it failed to send a clear signal to industry that now was the right time to invest and create new jobs.  He went on: “In particular, it failed to address the growing threat to investment from energy prices that are squeezing margins and racing ahead of our competitors.”

On measures to boost apprenticeships, director of policy at EEF, Steve Radley, said that placing funding in the hands of the employer wouldl create “a truly responsive, relevant skills system that delivers high quality apprenticeships”. But he added: “Government must build a system that is made to last and resistant to the constant chop and change we have seen in the past.”

On the announced cut to national insurance, he added: “Cutting national insurance payments for employers who hire young people will also help to make inroads into youth unemployment and help firms bring new skills into their business”

Tim Thomas, head of EEF employment & skills policy backed increases in the state pension age, saying it was the right policy and was backed up with measures to support saving for retirement.

Copyright Ken Hurst 2013

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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