Budget brings mixed feelings from the plastic industry

After the budget the BPF (British Plastics Federation) welcomed all of the Chancellor’s long awaited recycling incentives and energy efficiency measures.

The cut in VAT from 17 to 5% on the installation of energy saving materials funded under certain government schemes should boost energy efficiency in homes and benefit the PVC Window and expanded polystyrene insulation sectors of the industry.

BPF director general, Peter Davis said, ‘ We look forward to having significant input in Sir Colin Marshall’s review of economic instruments to improve the industrial and commercial use of energy.’

The BPF has over several years cooperated with the government in energy efficiency projects regarding energy inputs into particular processes

The Britsih Plastics Federation also enthusiastically welcomed the measures for attracting long term investment in the industry as, despite some large players, most companies within the plastics industry are small and medium sized businesses.

But there is also concern about the continued strength of the Pound, Davis said, ‘We feel that the budget has does little to curb the strength of the Pound which has had and will continue to have a seriously detrimental effect upon the industry. The strength of the Pound is seriously compromising the UK Plastics Industry’s competitiveness in world markets.

‘While appreciating that Gordon Brown is aiming at long term economic growth, we do not feel that relying on the use of measures to increase savings and curb inflation, therefore lowering interest rates and pressure upon the Pound, goes far and quickly enough to protect the plastics industry.’