The British manufacturing industry has been in difficulty for some decades now, with cheaper work forces and more abundant natural resources available to Asian and American manufacturers. But Michael Oliver, who founded deep-sea oil and gas valve manufacturer Oliver Valves, has launched a petition seeking tax relief of 10 pence on every £1 worth of exported goods.
Oliver says such a scheme would cause a flurry of export activity steering the economic ship in the right direction. He points out that the government spends a lot of time giving ‘bold speeches delivered in tractor factories’, but says ‘their words have delivered nothing in the way of tangible change.’ A tough line, but MT can’t help thinking he’s probably right…
He added: ‘By exporting our way out of recession, manufacturers and their employees will pay more tax as they grow, helping boost the Chancellor’s coffers,’ and explained that the tax credit would act as a catalyst to ‘get this virtuous cycle moving.’ If Oliver gets enough signatures, it will help force the issue onto the political agenda in Westminster.
The view that the only way out of recession is through an export-led economy is seen by many as unfeasible because of the extent to which the UK economy relies on the services sector (around 77% of our GDP comes from services). But Oliver reckons the tax breaks would mean businesses could invest in their overseas sales networks, get them attending more trade exhibitions and hopefully paying more visits to clients for relationship building.
Oliver’s petition needs 100,000 signatures for the issue to be considered for a debate in the House of Commons, and is being hosted on the Direct Gov website. You can find out more about the petition and the details by clicking here.