22 November 2017
Commenting on today’s Budget Statement the British Ports Association’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne said:
“Against the backdrop of Brexit and economic uncertainty there wasn’t a great deal in this Budget for ports.
We do however welcome the Government’s decision to allocate £3bn on Brexit scenario planning. It is as of yet unclear if this will be used to ensure, amongst other things, the adequacy of funding for the boarders agencies and to resource personnel and facilities for potential new customs checks and disruptive port health inspections.
Separately we are pleased that the Chancellor announced that the National Infrastructure Commission has been tasked with examining freight networks. As part of this exercise we will be highlighting that ports are vital components of the freight and logistics chain as well as promoting the Department for Transport’s forthcoming Port Connectivity Study, that we expect to be published shortly.
Also, it remains to be seen if some ports might see local benefits from the separately announced £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund, which the Chancellor said will help boost local transport connections.”
Other areas of interest include a £3bn Net increase in the National Productivity Investment Fund as well as specific North Sea oil and gas tax changes to encourage continued offshore extraction and then later an easier transition on to decommissioning projects.
There are also the much publicised stimulatory measures for house building which we hope might see an increase in construction materials being imported in through ports and finally re-confirmation that the Severn crossing tolls will be abolished by the end of 2018.