The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) was unimpressed with last week’s budget announcements by Chancellor George Osborne.
Nigel Rees GGF Group Chief Executive commented, “It is yet another budget that doesn’t have great significance for our industry. The bold plans to fund infrastructure projects with £15b may be positive for some in construction but it won’t have a huge impact on the glass and glazing industry. We would much rather have seen that kind of commitment for house building projects and energy efficiency programmes that would really attack the UK’s energy efficiency issues and the growing housing crisis.
In his Summer Budget, the Chancellor described it as one which puts economic security first and one which is for “working people”. The Chancellor stated that the economy is fundamentally stronger and that living standards are rising strongly. He started his announcements by calling it a “big budget for a country with big ambitions”.
Nigel Rees continued, “On the positive side for SMEs; cutting corporation tax by 2% over the next five years, increasing the permanent level of Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) for plant and machinery and reducing SMEs National Insurance contributions are welcome announcements. However, to provide more term certainty for our industry to grow, there’s clearly not enough for companies to get excited about in this budget.”
The most striking feature of the Budget was that energy efficiency was not mentioned throughout the entire speech. Other flagship policies on welfare and tax took centre stage whilst the Chancellor George Osborne did not address key issues for the energy sector and governmental schemes to encourage the uptake of energy efficient measures.
Nigel Rees added, “It was particularly disappointing that any plans to incentivise homeowners to increase energy efficiency in their homes were not even mentioned in this Summer Budget. The Government’s own target reductions for carbon emissions are high yet there seems to be a complete lack of intent to actually achieve them. It was a surprise given that the last Government’s energy efficiency initiatives have failed to deliver on the promises made. There is already considerable uncertainty on the future of Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligation) and with no mention in the budget, it is hardly inspiring for property owners looking to invest in energy efficient measures to improve their homes.”