"CPI broadly welcomes the measures that the Chancellor outlined in his Autumn Statement, especially those designed to foster growth within the economy. The special measures to boost construction, to increase Annual Investment Allowances, to reduce Corporation Tax and to abolish the fuel tax escalator are very positive decisions.
We also welcome the publication of the Government's Gas Strategy and the setting up of the Office for Unconventional Gas. The proposed new tax incentives for shale gas are also good news; this new energy source could prove to be an indispensable part of our energy mix for years to come and it won't require the scale of subsidy needed by renewables.
Confirmation that the Energy Intensive Sectors are to be exempted from the costs associated with Contracts for Difference is another progressive step. The announcement that the Carbon Reduction Commitment is to be reviewed in 2016 with "a high priority for removal when public finances allow" will be welcomed by many CPI Members. It is a costly and highly complex tax. However, there was also a sting in the tale with the Chancellor's plan to increase the price from £12 to £16 in 2014/15, which most certainly will not be welcomed.
The Chancellor also missed a golden opportunity to encourage energy efficiency within industries such as paper, by incentivising the installation and operation of on-site Combined Heat and Power plants. However, the greatest omission from this Autumn Statement was a commitment to scrap the UK's unique Carbon Price Floor. If there is one measure that will destroy the competitiveness of large parts of UK manufacturing then this is it. He has exempted Northern Ireland. Why not the rest of the UK?
In summary - some positive measures aimed at supporting growth within the economy but also some missed opportunities and one highly important omission".