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Business calls for manufacturing boost ahead of Autumn Statement

The UK’s leading manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, has called on the Government to introduce urgent measures to help boost business growth, including tax cuts and industry incentives, in next month’s Autumn Statement.

The EEF is urging Chancellor George Osborne to cut taxes, reduce employment regulation, improve competition in the banking sector, and reduce the cost of fighting climate change.

In the short term, the organisation is seeking the introduction of 100% first year capital allowances for a limited period of two years, a reform of R&D tax credits, an extension of the Business Growth Fund, a rethink of the proposals on Equal Pay Audits and employment tribunal fines, and a clarification on the legal status on apprenticeships.

Terry Scuoler, EEF Chief Executive, said, ‘Timely and targeted measures are required now to boost investment and growth. Last year, the biggest threat to growth came from our fiscal deficit. Today the biggest threat to reducing that deficit comes from weak growth. Failure to act now will only make the future challenges even bigger and risks undermining our hard-won fiscal credibility’.

The call comes alongside a new warning that the UK economy has reached a ‘dangerous junction’. According to the latest Item Club report, uncertainty across the Eurozone and a stalling global economy are undermining business confidence.

Despite the Bank of England’s latest quantitative easing measures, the body has downgraded its forecast for GDP from 1.4% to 0.9% for this year, and from 2.2% to 1.5% for 2012.