On 22 November 2023 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, will present the Autumn Statement, which will provide an update on the country’s finances and the Government’s plans for tax and public spending, based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Against a backdrop of constrained public finances, this will provide an important opportunity for the Government to outline new measures to meet its pledges to halve inflation this year, grow the economy, and reduce national debt.

In advance of the Autumn Statement, ADS has written to the Chancellor to set out our priorities and recommendations for fostering an attractive business environment. At its core, ADS believes there is a need for a renewed industrial strategy to secure the UK’s advantage at a time of accelerating global competition (as set out in ADS’s paper released in July). The Government has an important opportunity in November to set out how it will drive investment, shape the emergence of new markets, address market failure, and effectively deliver upon its operational responsibilities.

ADS believes that the UK’s aerospace, defence, security, and space sectors are national assets in our domestic industrial base and represent a key instrument for strengthening the UK’s prosperity. However, a partnership is needed between government and our sectors to consolidate the UK’s place in the global economy as a hub for future technology and innovation. ADS’s core recommendations to the Chancellor were therefore the following:

  • To provide stable access to finance and investment for our sectors, by ensuring successful reforms to R&D tax credits and providing new long-term capital offerings;
  • To foster the UK’s defence industrial base through long-term clarity on requirements and resourcing and by prioritising the deployment of functional space programmes to deliver upon the 2021 National Space Strategy;
  • To supply sufficient resourcing to key regulatory and operational bodies across HMG to unblock barriers to industrially-driven growth, notably the Export Control Joint Unit and UK Security Vetting;
  • And, to secure first mover advantage for the future of aviation by providing immediate long-term uplifted support for aerospace;

Alongside this ADS set out the need to address skills shortages through added flexibility in the Apprenticeship Levy, the case for a new scheme to support exporting SMEs attending overseas shows, and the importance of support for decarbonising manufacturing, alongside many other measures.

ADS looks forward to seeing the outcome of the Autumn Statement in November and will provide a full analysis to ADS members shortly afterwards. Thereafter attention will turn to the Government’s fiscal event in Spring 2024 and a future comprehensive spending review at some point before the start of 2025.

To access a copy of ADS’s full submission to HM Treasury please visit the ADS members area here