Commenting on the Chancellor’s Budget announcement, the FDF’s chief executive, Ian Wright CBE, said: “Food and drink manufacturers will welcome today’s Budget. The Chancellor’s announcement struck the right balance between supporting recovery and acknowledging the difficult choices that have to be made to restore the country’s finances. Food and drink businesses supplying the hospitality and food service sectors will welcome the extension of the furlough scheme. However, we have concerns that support tapers too soon and should be kept under review.
“As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, we welcome the news that the Bank of England and the Chancellor are doubling incentive payments for businesses hiring apprenticeships. However, increased flexibility of the apprenticeship levy would enable the system to work for the wider food and drink supply chain, particularly SMEs, and must be considered in relation to any new incentives.
“The Chancellor rightly expressed his firm intention not to increase the cost of living and has recognised the importance of encouraging investment as the key driver of recovery. He should therefore review proposed regulatory changes that will increase food prices.”