Business, Innovation and Skills Committee publishes assessment of government’s assistance to automotive industry

18 February 2011 #SMMT News

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has published its initial assessment of government’s strategy to support UK industry and growth.

SMMT submitted evidence to the Committee last September as part of its inquiry examining government assistance to industry, emphasising that improved access to credit and finance was a key factor in rebalancing the economy and in assisting economic recovery. In the report, one of the Committee’s main conclusions recognises that businesses across the economy still face difficulties accessing finance, with improvements in bank lending a key condition for economic recovery.
In relation to specific measures introduced to assist the automotive industry, the Committee recognises the success of the Scrappage Incentive Scheme in delivering the most prominent and publically visible form of government assistance to the UK automotive industry, which was far more influential than most imagined, delivering a major increase in vehicle demand, as well helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
In its evidence, SMMT said the establishing of the Automotive Assistance Programme was significant in demonstrating government’s commitment to the sector, while concerns centred on the scheme’s application process and approval procedures. The Committee highlights that the scheme was well-intentioned but, in its view, failed to deliver real benefits to industry.
The Committee’s report looks further at government’s growth strategy, concluding that while government has proposed a number of interventions, which have the potential to promote economic growth, a comprehensive growth strategy is needed to reassure business and help industry.

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