FDF responses to the Chancellor’s Autumn statement

22 November 2023

The aim of the Chancellor’s budget was to look at ways to support businesses and drive investment in to the wider UK economy.

Top line announcements included the following:

  • Full expensing made permanent - something the FDF has long called for and signed a letter to the Chancellor asking for its inclusion.
  • £4.5 billion funding for British manufacturing available from 2025 for five years.
  • £50m to be spent over the next two years to increase number of apprentices in engineering and other "key growth sectors"
  • Invest £500million into AI
  • New investment zones in Greater Manchester, West Midlands, East Midlands, North East & Tees Valley and two new zones in Wales around Cardiff and Wrexham.
  • National living wage to increase by 9.8% to £11.44 an hour
  • Employee National Insurance to be cut by 2%

Karen Betts, Chief Executive, The Food and Drink Federation said: 

"As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, we welcome the Chancellor’s focus on growing the economy and boosting investment. Making full expensing permanent in particular will help to incentivise the investments necessary for companies to innovate and grow, and to continue to provide shoppers with high quality, nutritious and affordable food and drink.

"While the focus is on headline tax rates, it’s vital that government looks at regulation too, which is driving unnecessary and increased costs onto company bottom lines, deterring investment and adding to cost of living pressures for households. This is particularly true as the UK establishes a circular economy, which it’s possible to do at a lower cost and in more efficient ways, as demonstrated by other, competitor economies. 

"On advanced manufacturing, we look forward to working with the government on how we best use the £4.5 bn announced to unlock innovative investments in food and drink manufacturing that support the UK’s transition to net zero and strengthen our food security."