The Government spurned the chance to secure thousands of jobs and billions in North East investment, leaving jobs in energy and manufacturing industries dangerously exposed.
Mark Stephenson, Head of Public Affairs for Newcastle-based Invicta Public Affairs, also says investors in sectors such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), offshore wind and solar have been at pains to point out the damaging effects of Government policy as support for key technologies has been axed.
Mark said: “The Government has cut support for CCS as well as a range of renewables technologies. Not only will this increase bills and stifle investment in renewables, it endangers jobs in energy intensive industries in areas like the North East. This budget was a missed opportunity to support industry and investment from Teesside to Tyneside, where energy use is among the highest in the UK.
“CCS could lower industrial emissions by as much as 90% and support thousands of jobs. Offshore we have the opportunity to invest in wind farms such as Dogger Bank but policy uncertainty has cost the North East and Humber over £2bn in investment and over 70,000 jobs owing to the downsizing of investment pipelines.
“Government must understand that there are areas of the country that want and need energy as well as development, the North East is one such area. Unfortunately, 2015 demonstrated the brutal reality of what can happen when uncertainty in policy and poor market conditions collide. It is a huge injustice to those who lost jobs at the likes of SSI that these lessons haven’t been learned.
“It is not just energy generators that are set to suffer. Businesses across a range of sectors rely on local investment to grow and create employment. Our manufacturers, transport and logistics businesses, including our two biggest ports, stand to gain hugely if the Government can plan further ahead and provide sufficient policy stability that investors aren’t pushed out of the UK market. It is important now that the government looks ahead and takes action to reassure investors and employment in these key areas of our economy.”