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MHA says government lacks ‘solid’ industrial strategy for net zero

With COP26 well underway, MHA say the UK government still lacks a clear and detailed plan to get the manufacturing sector on a more sustainable pathway, with SMEs in particular need of help.

Head of manufacturing at MHA, Chris Barlow, argues that UK manufacturing needs a detailed strategy to support its transition to net zero.

The independent accountancy firm also said that SMEs need further tax incentives to promote innovation and R&D tax relief needs to increase to mirror the changes to corporation tax rates.

man holding gray steel frame

Chris Barlow said: ‘As the Prime Minister tries to drum up global support for meeting the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change, some of the nuts and bolts behind these aspirations are still missing here in the UK. In particular, UK manufacturing needs a proper, detailed strategy to support the transition to net zero.

‘UK government strategies, including the latest ’Net Zero Strategy’, released on Tuesday 19 October, have good headlines and sensible objectives but offer no defined route as to how we might achieve our goals. We’re still lacking detail and many within the sector would say that there isn’t a real Industrial Strategy.

‘International competitiveness is of critical importance here: the government is highlighting new technologies, skills and materials within industry that are low carbon and sustainable as a way to ‘build back greener’ but so is every other major economy.  We need to make sure that our strategy and its supporting frameworks and incentives have greater clarity, long-term credibility and much easier access and attractiveness than previously, and our strategy needs to be better than other governments’ – let’s be clear, hyperbole simply won’t cut it here.

‘Overall we need a strategy that defines the key policies behind the headlines. Crucially we also need to know how the UK’s manufacturing sector can benefit from the opportunities stemming from the significant investment to create a ‘green’ industrial revolution that has been promised, to fund training, jobs and technology.’

Photo by Xi Wang

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