ECA has broadly welcomed the Spring Budget, praising the extension of the energy support guarantee for another three months.
However, ECA has warned that the Chancellor’s corporation tax hike could harm electrotechnical businesses, especially SMEs, as they continue to face fiscal pressures from the energy crisis, the cost-of-living crisis, and inflation.
ECA Director of Legal and Business, Rob Driscoll says, “SMEs are a vital part of the construction sector, which itself is the backbone of the British economy. Today’s corporation tax hikes come at a time when SMEs have dealt with COVID-19, hyperinflating labour, materials and energy costs, rising insolvencies, receding demand and increased borrowing costs.
“Today’s budget may prove to be counter-intuitive and hinder businesses’ ability to pivot into delivering our urgent net zero targets.
“The drive to net zero hinges on skilled engineering services professionals doing the frontline work to upgrade our grid, electrify transport and heating, and connect our homes and businesses to clean energy sources.”
ECA Director of Workforce and Public Affairs, Andrew Eldred, says, “The measures announced by the Chancellor to encourage people back to work fail to address sector-specific labour and skills shortages. The extended energy bill support will provide some peace of mind, but this will be short-lived.
“To make the UK energy independent, a skilled, competent workforce is vital to maintain existing electrical infrastructure. As the electrification of the UK accelerates rapidly, our sector needs stronger engagement from government to develop a flexible and competent electrical workforce in sufficient numbers to meet growing demand and ultimately help deliver net zero on time.”