There was little to cheer about in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement for the recycling and resource industry.
While there was a welcome for some of the measures to support the economy, the lack of anything for the green economy worried many.
Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “For our sector there was little pre-Christmas cheer in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The waste and resource industry must have been very naughty this year as Santa George Osborne does not appear to have answered any of our letters urging him to give the green economy a real boost and recognise its potential in taking the UK sustainably out of recession.
“The constraints on the Green Investment Bank remain in place and so his forecasts for deficit reduction mean the GIB remains unable to borrow until 2016/17, assuming his forecasts prove accurate.
“The absence of a focused manufacturing strategy to support UK green industries, together with the weak signals on renewables allied to boosts for fossil fuel-based economic activity send a bleak message to green investors. This is frustrating, as we know that investors will respond to clear and strong signals from Government. The Chancellor’s tin ear on the potential for the green economy appears to be intact.”
Closed Loop Recycling chief executive Chris Dow welcomed the cut in Corporation Tax by 1 per cent, as well as the increase in the annual investment allowance in capital equipment.
But he added: “What about Britain’s green economy? Have we parked carbon intensity targets for the Energy Bill? Does an eight-year austerity programme mean the Green Investment Bank is unable to raise funds and therefore slow our path to sustainable energy production? Green industry should be seen as an opportunity for job growth and industry reform rather than being treated as an economic cost.
“We are urging the Government not to park the green economy for the next generation, but to ensure green businesses such as ours receive the right signals for investment and growth opportunities.”