The Mineral Products Association has today written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling for greater support for businesses during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Nigel Jackson, MPA Chief Executive, called for a general facility to delay VAT, Corporation Tax and employers' National Insurance contributions as a way to help member companies facing extreme economic conditions. He wrote:
"Businesses need more certainty and a 'cash bridge' to ensure that current viability is not destroyed purely because of the virus. Our members typically supply 1 million tonnes of essential mineral products every day to support construction and housing and will be key to your boost to infrastructure investment.
"A general facility to delay VAT, Corporation Tax and employers' National Insurance contributions would be extremely helpful to many businesses in our sector and doubtless others. 'Time to Pay' arrangements are an important option but leaving them as bespoke arrangements once businesses hit trouble risks HMRC being overwhelmed and companies becoming insolvent before arrangements can be made.
"We seek greater assurance that these extraordinary circumstances will be met with exceptional treatment making it quick and easy for companies to use cash within the business to finance survival. Hard lessons were learned during the last recession and speed of response and ease of access to deliverable solutions is of paramount importance right now.
"Our members are working hard to keep their operations going, supporting their employees, customers and wider society as we all face this challenge."
MPA is seeking a meeting with Treasury and will continue to make representations on behalf of its members.
Note to Editors:
About the Mineral Products Association:
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the affiliation of British Precast, the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, it has a growing membership of 530 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2016, the industry supplied £18 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £169 billion in 2018. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors. For more information visit: www.mineralproducts.org