To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons the Government took the decision to close the Manufacturing Advisory Service.
28 January 2016
As part of the Spending Review settlement, we decided to wind down the national delivery of the Business Growth Service (BGS) including the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).
The BGS used substantial taxpayer resources, £85 million a year, which was distributed through a network of contractors and subcontractors. When it did eventually reach businesses, businesses would have to provide half the cost of advice themselves, despite the substantial taxpayer funding being provided.
The Spending Review protected our economic security by taking the difficult decisions to live within our means and bring down our debt. The most important way we can help manufacturers is to continue to secure a strong, growing economy.
Where we do use taxpayers money, we have targeted it where it will help businesses the most.
We have extended the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief by another year, meaning 405,000 small businesses will pay no rates at all while another 200,000 small businesses will pay reduced rates. Next year we’ll be extending the Employment Allowance from £2,000 to £3,000, meaning thousands of small businesses will pay no jobs tax.
We’re providing further funding to Growth Hubs to help businesses at the local level and away from Whitehall.
We continue supporting our world leading research-led and advanced manufacturing sectors such as life sciences, defence, aerospace, automotive and chemicals to grow, export, and attract and retain inward investment. We are supporting industry with an extra £1 billion in aerospace and automotive R&D and investing £6.9 billion in the UK’s research infrastructure.