IOM3 responds to Autumn Statement
UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has today (22 November 2023) unveiled the government’s tax and spending plans.
Delivering the statement to Parliament, the Chancellor unveiled a package of tax cuts and supply side reforms.
Announcements from the statement and accompanying Treasury documents of interest to IOM3 members include:
- Permanent full expensing – the ability to write off the full cost of qualifying main rate plant and machinery investment in the year of investment – including the 50% full-year allowance for special rate assets.
- Commitment to publish a technical consultation on extending full expensing to assets for leasing.
- Confirmation of the £4.5bln investment in advanced manufacturing and green energy sectors announced on Friday including a £960mln Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA).
- Greater Manchester, West Midlands, East Midlands, South East Wales and North Wales announced as the next set of Investment zones.
- Clarified priorities for UK Infrastructure Bank to enable investment in critical supply chains including semiconductor manufacturing and critical minerals.
R&D & innovation
- The current R&D Expenditure Credit and SME schemes to be merged from April 2024 onwards.
- The intensity threshold in the R&D intensives scheme to be reduced from 40% to 30% and a one-year grace period.
- A commitment to ‘cut bureaucracy in grant applications’.
- All recommendations of the Independent Review of Spin-outs accepted and how these will be delivered.
- A fellowship course targeting mid-career science and technology venture capital investors.
- Publication of Professor Dame Angela McLean’s final report to encourage pro-innovation regulation.
- £145mln through Innovate UK to support business innovation, including £20mln for productivity and decarbonisation of foundation industries, £50mln for battery innovation, £50mln for investment in Catapults, and £25mln for innovation in critical technologies.
Energy & infrastructure
- Designating low-carbon infrastructure as a critical national priority in updated Energy National Policy Statements.
- A joint action plan with Ofgem to reduce the time it takes viable projects to connect to the electricity grid.
- Action Plan to halve the time to build new grid infrastructure to seven years, in response to the review by the Electricity Network Commissioner, Nick Winser
- New investment exemption for green industries such as solar and offshore wind from the Electricity Generator Levy.
- Parameters set for the next renewables Contracts for Difference auction round and commitment to publishing ‘further details on growing hydrogen and Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) deployment’.
- National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) commissioned to undertake a study on making the electricity distribution network fit for net-zero.
- Commitment to consult on amending the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure that the planning system prioritises the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including EV charging hubs, and also introduce new permitted development rights to end the blanket restriction on heat pumps one metre from a property boundary in England.
- NIC commissioned to undertake a study on how connected and autonomous vehicles and mobility can deliver growth.
- Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase the Plastic Packaging Tax rate from 1 April 2024, to £217.85 per tonne.
- Commitment to publish an evaluation plan by the end of the year and gather further evidence to inform the future trajectory of the rate and recycled plastic content threshold.
- Deposit Return Scheme and Extended Producer Responsibility policy confirmed.
- £50mln funding for a two-year apprenticeship pilot to explore ways to stimulate training in engineering and other key growth sectors.
Responding to the statement, IOM3 CEO Dr Colin Church CEnv FIMMM, said, ‘The Government’s continued focus on green investment set out in the Autumn Statement is very welcome. The transition to a low-carbon, resilient and resource-efficient society is essential and offers substantial potential gains for the UK, if done properly. This includes the need to ensure that both individuals and whole industries are supported to make the transition, and this Autumn Statement contains a number of measures that could help’.