Food boss wants R&D help from Autumn Statement

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mr chancellor, please continue measures to boost R&D , urged the boss of Quorn Foods
Mr chancellor, please continue measures to boost R&D , urged the boss of Quorn Foods

Related tags: Flood

The chancellor’s Autumn Statement should deliver more incentives to encourage innovation and research and development, according to the boss of meat alternatives business Quorn Foods.

Kevin Brennan, chief executive of the North Yorkshire based business, urged the chancellor to offer further incentives to boost innovation. The introduction of research and development (R&D) tax credits had helped boost innovation over the past two years but more needed to be done.

“It’s vital that the government maintains momentum and protects and builds on the valuable tax reliefs currently in place to further encourage innovation and enterprise, through moves such as expanding the R&D tax credit,”​ he said.

The business could benefit from big growth opportunities, as consumers worldwide were rethinking their meat-eating habits, said Brennan. Consumers were also becoming more aware of the ethical, health and environmental benefits on offer from alternative sources of protein such as Quorn, he claimed.

Ambitious plans

Brennan said the business had ambitious plans to grow up to five times its present size into a £640M business.

Meanwhile, chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce help for small businesses and changes to business rates to help high street shops compete with internet retailers in his statement today (December 3).

Osborne had already unveiled plans to spend an extra £2bn a year on the National Health Service and boost spending on flood defences and road schemes.

But Labour said the chancellor had failed to keep his pledge to clear the deficit made before the 2010 general election.

“In 2010 the Tories pledged they’d balance the books by 2015,” ​said Labour. “But they are on course to break this promise, with the deficit set to be £75bn next year. The Tories are now set to borrow almost £190bn more than they planned.

‘National debt’

“As a result of this failure the Tories are also set to miss their own fiscal mandate to get the national debt falling as a proportion of GDP by next year.”

The National Farmers Union (NFU) wrote to the chancellor last month urging action in five areas. Those were:

  • Taxation tools to improve farm business management of volatility
  • The introduction of an infrastructure investment allowance
  • Retain an appropropriate and consistent level of the annual investment allowance
  • Government spending on broadband, flooding and animal health and welfare
  • The Agri-Tech strategy and encouraging knowledge exchange

Over the past five years, farm output grew by 31% to total more than £27.7bn, according to the letter from NFU president Meurig Raymond.  

Osborne will deliver the Autumn Statement in the House of Commons at 1230.

The government is also expected to promise an extra £150M to help children with eating disorders, with the aim of stepping up preventative measures to replace the need for hospital care.

Watch out for more coverage of the Autumn Statement.

 

Autumn Statement

  • £2bn for the National Health Service
  • £2.3bn of existing money to boost more than 1,400 flood defence projects
  • £2bn plan to make the A303 a dual carriageway, including a tunnel near Stonehenge

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