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Parties told how to grow UK economy

Parties told how to grow UK economy

Mineral Products Association | Mineral Products Association

3 min read Partner content

Infrastructure delivery, less costly environmental legislation and investment in skills are key to continued economic growth, according to a leading industry body.

The proposals are in a new plan for Government and industry published today by the Mineral Products Association (MPA), ahead of the 2015 general election.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive of MPA, which represents the mineral products and quarrying industry, said its member companies are "locked into the DNA of a whole host of other important industries".

"We are the largest supplier to the construction industry and sectors such as housing, transport, energy and water all rely upon the supply of mineral products, as do many other industries and activities," he said.

"In short we are critical to the development and maintenance of UK infrastructure and for improving the quality of people’s everyday lives."

MPA's Government & Industry Action Plan sets out key actions for both the next Government and the mineral products and quarrying industry, to help ensure that policy objectives supporting sustained economic recovery can be delivered.

The publication is sub-divided under five priority headings: ‘Economic Recovery and Competitiveness’, ‘Secure, Affordable & Sustainable Energy Supply’, ‘Investing in People’, ‘Resource Security, Efficiency and Management’ and ‘Environmental Improvement’. Each of these sections provide further detail on Government measures MPA is seeking and steps that the industry will take.

The next Government must focus on encouraging UK growth, indigenous production and investment, including the delivery of the national infrastructure programme and meeting housing needs, and ensure energy and climate change policies are consistent with the need to sustain a competitive UK mineral products sector.

MPA also calls on Whitehall to withdraw the carbon price floor, freeze the Aggregates Levy while there is a comprehensive review of the policy and review and reduce the cumulative cost and volume of environmental legislation.

Ministers must also ensure all mineral planning authorities have sound local minerals plans in place consistent with national guidelines and work with industry to ensure positive outcomes in key sustainability areas such as health and safety, water, recycling, waste and biodiversity.

MPA said the mineral products and quarrying industry will invest to ensure long-term mineral products demand and in improving the skills and safety of its employees and the public.

The industry will also seek opportunities to further reduce carbon emissions, support efficient use of mineral and other resources and enhance nature conservation and biodiversity.

MPA members encompass 100% of GB cement production, 90% of aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and ready-mixed concrete production and 70% of precast concrete production.

Each year the industry supplies £9bn of materials and services to the £120bn construction and other sectors. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors.

Jackson said the action plan "sets out clearly what we need from Government and what we, as an industry, will do, in order to help deliver for the UK and support growth in the next Parliament".

"Industry and Government need to work together, a point which we believe is increasingly understood and we want this message to be clear to all political audiences."

The MPA Action Plan can be downloaded here

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