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Manufacturing Industries

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to lower the cost of doing business for (a) British industry and (b) the manufacturing sector.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government's “Plan for Growth”, published in March 2011, set out clear ambitions to create the most competitive tax system in the G20 and to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. By 2014 corporation tax will fall to 22%, the lowest in the G7, and the rate of relief under the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits scheme has been increased to 225% of qualifying R&D costs from 1 April 2012; this represents one of the most competitive rates in the world. The Patent Box, which will be introduced from April 2013, will offer a preferential 10% Corporation Tax on profits from patents and similar intellectual property.

Rising electricity costs pose a key risk for energy intensive industries whose international competitiveness is most affected by energy and climate change policies. In November's autumn statement the Government announced a package of measures to reduce the impact of Government policy on the cost of electricity for these businesses. The package is worth around £250 million to energy intensive industries to reduce their energy bills, subject to state aid approval.

The Government has set out an ambitious agenda to reduce the overall burden of regulation on business over the course of this Parliament. The “One In, One Out” rule introduced by the Government is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and has so far delivered a cumulative reduction of business burdens since 2011 of at least £850 million. The “Red Tape Challenge” aimed to scrap or simplify regulations that are ineffective, unnecessary or obsolete. The Manufacturing theme of the Red Tape Challenge was launched in July 2011, with results announced as part of autumn statement 2011. The final deregulation package sets out changes to scrap or simplify 65 different rules and regulations affecting this sector.

Furthermore, plans from other themes such as employment-related law and environment are expected to deliver significant savings to industry and the manufacturing sector, for example a package of environmental deregulation which will save businesses at least £1 billion over five years.

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