MPA highlights contribution of mineral products industry to UK economic growth
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
The UK Mineral Products Association’s Make the Link campaign, which uses new research from Capital Economics, has revealed some startling statistics, and is said to highlight the criticality of the mineral products sector.
At a recent UK House of Commons reception introduced by Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Member of Parliament), with guest speakers Sajid Javid MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; Iain Wright MP, Shadow BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) Minister, and Roger Bootle, CEO of Capital Economics, the MPA launched a new publication and campaign which “makes the link” between the mineral products industry and its essential contribution to the economy and quality of life.
MPA says that the mineral products industry supplies over one million tonnes of material in a typical day; annual production is 250 million tonnes worth £9 billion (€11.4 billion) a year and it provides jobs for 70,000 people.
However, what is really significant about the industry is the extent to which it supports others and, in doing so, is essential to the UK economy, says the MPA.
Capital Economics estimates that the knock-on benefit of what the sector does supports over £400 billion (€506 billion) in terms of turnover in industries it supplies and over 2.5 million jobs in the economy as a whole.
Nigel Jackson, chief executive MPA, said: “The mineral products industry is an essential, indigenous and major primary producer in its own right - but it is also locked into the DNA of a whole host of other important industries. We are the largest supplier to the £120 billion [€152 billion] construction industry, and sectors such as housing and property as well as transport, energy and water all rely upon the supply of mineral products of one type or another. In short we are critical to the development and maintenance of UK infrastructure and for the improvement of people’s everyday lives.
“Our sustainability credentials are strong and support the performance of those whom we supply. We have already made significant strides in driving CO2 emissions down while pushing the bar upwards on health and safety, responsible sourcing, recycling and resource efficiency. We are one of the key industries that will make a significant long-term contribution in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“For such a significant and complex industry, it is no surprise that we have reasonable concerns about the cumulative impact of taxation, legislation and regulation which can create uncertainty and undermine investment. It is vital for our economy and growth that such an important, long term and strategic industry is encouraged to continue to invest in the UK and able to maintain security of supply, steadily and adequately.”
Roger Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics, explained how mineral products are “the foundation for a healthy economy” and stressed that “the more hum-drum parts of the economy are in fact the ones which account for the bulk of GDP and employment.”
Sajid Javid said, “I don’t stand here for a second and pretend that times are easy. We live in very challenging times. But, one thing I clearly do agree with the previous speaker on, is that as we recover, and in these challenging economic times, there are a few industries that I think will be absolutely key. Mineral products, given the importance of it to Britain, the size of it, the number of people it employs, the revenue it directly or indirectly generates, is one such industry. I understand that, but more importantly, this Government understands that.”
Iain Wright said: “I don’t think that we give the mineral products sector the applause that is actually required because, in terms of things we take for granted, and in terms of things we often overlook- roads, buildings, a whole range of the infrastructure and fabric of modern life - you do provide the corner stones, you do quite literally often provide the building blocks. You are a very vital and often overlooked sector within the British economy that we need to shout about and celebrate a lot more. I celebrate what you do: I want to be your champion.”
The publication launched at the House of Commons marks the start of MPA’s Make the Link campaign which it says aims to achieve greater recognition for the essential contribution that “this great industry makes to the UK and its strategic importance to all of our futures.”