News: Maritime UK publishes 2021 budget submission

Maritime UK has published its submission outlining the key priorities for the maritime sector ahead of the budget announcement next week.

The submission includes a letter from newly appointed Maritime UK Chair Sarah Kenny to the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

“As an island nation, the UK has maritime in its DNA. Not only does the maritime sector keep freight flowing, but we also export innovative maritime products and services. With cutting-edge technology, high-quality design and advanced manufacturing, unparalleled expertise in services and attractive infrastructure investment opportunities, the UK can claim to be a natural home for global maritime business.

“This past year has brought into sharp relief the critical role the sector and its key workers play in keeping supply chains open and the country supplied with food, medicine, and energy. 

“Like the rest of the economy we serve, maritime has felt the devastating effects of the pandemic. Nowhere is that clearer than for the cruise industry, where the voluntarily suspension of operations in March 2020 is estimated to have cost 52,000 jobs. 

“Research maps coastal economies as amongst the most severely impacted by the pandemic. Given the sector’s primary location around the coast, the performance and recovery of this sector are directly linked to those of these coastal towns and cities. 

“As you prepare your budget to support the economy and rebuild from the pandemic, we write to set out our priorities to support the maritime sector and to explain how we can support the rest of the economy and government’s agenda. 

“Decarbonisation is the greatest challenge facing every part of the economy, but an equally great opportunity for those ready to seize it. Whilst maritime offers the most carbon-efficient mode for moving goods, the sheer volume of goods transported by sea and through UK ports each year means significant emissions are produced. The decarbonisation of maritime is therefore essential for efforts to reach the Government’s Net-Zero targets. Positive steps have been made in 2020, with government recognising maritime as a “difficult to decarbonise” sector in its ten-point plan with £20m in technology funding, but 2021 must be a real year of transformational action. We have developed a robust plan to kick-start a world-leading decarbonisation programme in the UK and create 75,000 green collar jobs across Britain.

“We have a package of measures to unlock coastal economic development by building upon the government’s Freeports programme and driving infrastructure investment around the coast. 

“Having left the European Union, this sector, perhaps more than any other, has a real opportunity to make ‘Global Britain’ a reality by facilitating global exports and imports as well as by trading maritime products and services. Government should support more businesses to export and help their recovery in doing so.

“We look forward to working with you and your team to realise this agenda and enhance the UK’s position as a globally competitive maritime nation that creates high-quality green jobs in coastal towns and cities around the United Kingdom.”

Maritime UK’s budget submission urges the Chancellor to consider action in the following areas:

  • Supporting maritime decarbonisation and a green recovery
  • Delivering regional growth and levelling up across all parts of the United Kingdom
  • Supporting international trade and inward investment