2016 Autumn Statement response by Peter Ward, CEO of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA)
The Autumn Statement gives some indication of what we might expect from the Government’s forthcoming Industrial Strategy and UKWA members will have been encouraged by the fact that the Chancellor is clearly focused on delivering the infrastructure upgrades that are needed to support a productive economy.
Mr Hammond’s pledge to spend £23bn on innovation and infrastructure over five years and, in particular, his plan to commit £1.1bn extra investment in English local transport networks and £220m to reduce traffic pinch points, is particularly welcome news.
Investment on this scale is clearly needed to support a logistics sector which is underpinning the rise of e-commerce.
The decision not to raise fuel duty for the seventh year in succession will also be warmly welcomed by UKWA members. It will reduce the cost pressures on UK supply chains, which, in turn, will stimulate further growth in the nation’s economy.
However, the Chancellor’s stark comments regarding the wider post-Brexit economic challenges that face the nation reinforce the critically important role that UKWA will be playing as the voice of the logistics sector in supporting the government’s negotiations over the next few years.
It is essential that our members are properly represented and for the government to fully understand the serious implications from a logistics perspective of our trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world.
This work has already started and we are working hard to help our members and the nation achieve the best possible outcome in the post-Brexit world.”