Daily Mail

Business demands green investment boost for Britain

Bosses call for UK version of Joe Biden’s £300billion Inflation Reduction Act

- By Mark Shapland in London and John-Paul Ford Rojas in Tel Aviv

BRITAIN needs its own version of Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to boost investment and compete with the United States, a leading business lobby has warned.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) described the bill, which offers more than £300bn of subsidies to firms investing in green industries in the US rather than countries like the UK, as a ‘game-changer’.

The lobby group warned the European Union ‘is also raising the stakes’ with its own green industrial plan.

And in a warning to Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt ahead of the Budget next week, it said the UK risks being left behind unless it introduces its own version. Roger Barker, IoD director of policy, cautioned Downing Street against letting ‘short-term budgetary concerns’ override crucial investment.

‘It’s imperative that government and the private sector work together, otherwise the UK will find itself left behind in the accelerati­ng race to lead the green economy,’ he said.

‘The UK deserves nothing less than its own version of the IRA to ensure that the UK becomes the global location of choice for all forms of green investment.’

But speaking to the Mail in Tel Aviv, Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch played down the idea of big subsidies. ‘If we’re subsidisin­g one industry that means someone else isn’t getting something,’ she said. ‘So I never lean into trying to make promises to any particular industry.’

Passed by US Congress in August, the IRA has spurred hundreds of billions of green deals and increased investment in sectors such as the oil and gas industry. British companies are looking to move to the US to take advantage of the subsidies.

Heavy equipment rental firm Ashtead yesterday said it will raise capital spending in the US, its largest market, as it bets the act will boost constructi­on there. Chief executive Brendan Horgan said: ‘Our business is performing well enhanced by the increasing number of mega projects and recent US legislativ­e acts.’

Building materials giant CRH last week said it plans to move its primary stock market listing to New York from London.

Irish-based CRH, valued at £30bn, is increasing­ly focused on America, where it supplies major infrastruc­ture projects. It comes as the UK tries to compete for its share of the ‘green economy’ and become a world leader in battery and hydrogen production.

Last week Jaguar Land Rover’s owner, Tata Motors, asked the Government for more than £500m in subsidies to build a battery factory in Somerset.

The IoD’s Barker said: ‘The IRA is an absolute game-changer and will transform the whole US economy. This is a moment of truth now for the Government.’

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