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Chancellor urged to back energy intensive firms in Autumn statement

The Chancellor has been urged to set out a plan to keep energy intensive industries in the UK as part of his Autumn statement.

The Mineral Products Association’s chief executive Nigel Jackson said industries including cement and lime need to be kept operating within the UK.

“When the Chancellor announces the government’s proposed package of help on energy costs for those energy intensive industries at risk of ‘carbon leakage’ we need to see the cement and lime industries included,” he said.

“Government must act decisively to signal that it wants to retain viable domestic cement and lime industries in the UK.”

Senior government staff including energy secretary Chris Huhne have already been lobbied in Parliament over the issue and the government has previously stated that it will work with energy-intensive industries to avoid the proposed £16 per tonne carbon floor price from 2013 driving UK companies abroad.

Mr Jackson highlighted the cumulative impacts of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, the Climate Change Levy, and now the Carbon Price Floor as being “problematic” as it increases costs for businesses.

He said: “Uses of lime include the filtration plants required for the supply of clean water supply we all take for granted, yet these industries face increasing energy costs and green taxes that could drive them overseas to cheaper areas of production. 

“Such a move would not only threaten our security of supply but would simply export jobs and carbon for no environmental gain.”

The MPA is a trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, lime, mortar and silica sand industries and represents almost 500 companies and represents spend of around £5bn into UK industry annually.

Mr Jackson added: “This is the Chancellor’s opportunity to put his words into practice and help protect British jobs, British manufacturing and British business. We need this government to be the most enterprising ever.”

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