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2 August 2014 | Paul Snell
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has urged the UK government to focus on indigenous production, and ensure its energy policies support a competitive sector.
In a report the trade association set out five actions for the government, which included reviewing the cost and volume of environmental legislation, ensuring mineral planning authorities have local mineral plans and working with the industry to improve sustainability.
The sector - which employs 70,000 workers and supports a further 2.5 million jobs in the supply chain in the UK - also made five pledges, including investment to ensure long-term demand is met, reducing the industry’s carbon emissions and supporting the efficient use of minerals.
It highlighted the government’s aggregates levy, which is a tax on the commercial exploitation of rock, sand and gravel in the UK and costs the public sector an extra £300 million a year when buying aggregates. The MPA called for it to be scrapped.
It said the estimated rise in the UK population by five million by 2025 would have significant implications on demand for products, such as aggregates, asphalt and cement, and their use in major infrastructure and construction projects. It also called on the government to tackle the issue of late payment within the construction supply chain.
Nigel Jackson, chief executive at the MPA, said: “The mineral products and quarrying industry is an essential, indigenous and major primary material producer in its own right that is locked into the DNA of a whole host of other important industries. This new publication 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.”