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UK Maritime Industry Welcomes Supportive Budget Measures

by Jason Gorringe,, London

26 March 2014

The Chief Executive of the British Maritime Federation, Howard Pridding, has welcomed the inclusion of measures to support exporters, apprenticeship programs, and investors in the UK's latest Budget.

Pridding stated: "We welcome the emphasis on supporting British business in the Budget statement, specifically the additional help announced for manufacturers and exporters. The UK leisure marine industry is a national success story, and many of the initiatives in this Budget should help to support the sector's global reputation for innovation, good design and quality."

"However, as the Government focuses on exporting the 'Made in Britain' stamp across the world, we hope it does not lose sight of some of the issues closer to home. UK tourism is one of our country's most valuable industries, with boating tourism alone contributing GBP3.7bn (USD6.1bn) to the economy last year, yet the sector received little attention in the Budget."

"Many of our members based on the coast and inland waterways were badly affected by the recent flooding and, while new funding announced today for flood defences will help to maintain the resilience of the sector, we hope that the Government will recognise the need to promote boating related tourism which is an important contributor to employment and local economies all around the UK."

The UK Government foresees economic growth for 2014 of 2.7 percent of gross domestic product, and has announced a raft of measures aimed at backing British businesses to support the economic recovery.

For exports, the UK Budget assures exporters that they will be afforded the most competitive export finance in Europe. The direct lending program managed by UK Export Finance is to be doubled in size to GBP3bn, and interest rates will be reduced to the lowest permitted levels.

The Government has committed to create new job opportunities for young people by bolstering the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers scheme with an additional GBP85m in funding through 2014/15 and 2015/16. In addition, under 21s will be exempt from National Insurance Contributions.

To boost investment, the Government is to double the annual investment allowance to GBP500,000 until the end of 2015. This will particularly benefit small and medium sized firms, meaning that 99.8 percent of businesses will receive 100 percent up-front relief on their qualifying investment in plant and machinery.

TAGS: marine

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