Top manufacturing plants in South Yorkshire are being forced to operate as if they were in a third world state, due to the lack of a coherent Government energy policy and rocketing green taxes.
At the same time, companies are being forced to ship products to France and Italy to have them coated and heat treated, simply because energy costs have made it uncompetitive to have the job done closer to home, in the UK.
Meanwhile, in some parts of South Yorkshire, companies that are by no means heavy energy users have waited more than a year to get the power supply they need – while in Wales, they could have got connected in six weeks.
Those were just some of the energy woes laid at the Government and energy companies doors by local industrialists at an Energy Panel Debate, hosted by the Cutlers’ Company and organised by the manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF.
EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler warned that green energy taxes and insecurity of supply were damaging key industries, threatening investment and undermining the UK’s economic recovery.
“The continuing costs of increases, in particularly in electricity is extremely damaging to British manufacturing and engineering,” said Mr Scouler.
“The current regime of green levies means British manufacturers face 50 per cent higher costs for energy by 2020 than manufacturers in EU partner countries, although the cost of wholesale electricity is broadly the same across Europe and the UK has slightly lower cost of wholesale electricity.
“The message must be very, very clear. We are calling for the cessation, the cancellation or a significant reduction in the carbon price floor tax, unilaterally imposed only in the UK,” added Mr Scuoler.
The EEF chief also called on the government to freeze the climate change levy and extend the compensation scheme to relieve the green tax burden on high energy users, 30 per cent of which has yet to be allocated.
“If we don’t see any action on this, we won’t see the growth we are looking for,” Mr Scouler warned.