However, whilst the reforms announced will ease the pressure on Britain’s energy intensive industries in general, the glass industry itself, which employs 7,000 directly in the UK and over 45,000 in the supply chain, is not deemed eligible.For example, the Government has said they will extend the compensation for energy intensive industries for the cost of the Carbon Price Floor and EU emissions trading system to 2019-2020, however, the glass industry is not entitled to benefit from this unless they widen the terms to include us.
We also welcomed the introduction of a new compensation scheme to help energy intensive industries with higher electricity costs, however, it is not clear who will benefit from this – is it the energy intensive industry or the electro intensive industry?
We were also disappointed to note that there was no mention of the consultation on changes to the glass packaging recycling business target to 2017 or of a reform of the PRN system. We were hoping to see it announced that the target would be lowered to 75%, which could in turn reduce PRN prices to a more sensible level.
On a positive note, Government thinking aligns with our own that manufacturing should be at the forefront of economic development to create a healthy, sustainable and internationally competitive industrial base. Supporting UK manufacturing through raising the rate of the R&D tax credit payable to loss making SMEs from 11% to 14.5% will encourage investment in innovation which is positive news for the sector.