Low-tax freeports will boost jobs and growth, says Rishi Sunak

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Cities and towns with freeport status will benefit from tax breaks, simpler customs procedures and wider Government support to attract fresh investment from within the UK and overseas. The initiative is a key part of Boris Johnson’s plan to fire economic growth in the industrial heartlands.

Mr Sunak said: “Our new freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, levelling up communities across the UK, creating new jobs, and turbo-charging our economic recovery.

“As we embrace our new opportunities as an independent trading nation we want to deliver lasting prosperity to the British people and freeports will be key to delivering this.”

As well as the seven planned for England, the Chancellor wants at least three more freeports in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The plan allows firms to import raw materials into the zone without paying tariffs for manufacturing goods. The produce could then be sold within the UK – subject to tariffs at that stage – or overseas, without incurring British levies.

Officials say the tax reliefs will cover land purchases, construction and renovation of buildings and investment in plant and machinery, as well as employers’ National Insurance contributions.

Streamlined planning processes and government funding will also boost redevelopment and promote regeneration and innovation. The first freeports, accessible by sea, air or rail, are expected to open for business next year.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our freeports will be international centres for trade and investment, powering regeneration, job creation and entrepreneurship.”

Richard Ballantyne, of the British Ports Association, said: “Ports and the wider maritime industry are eager to play their part in the solution to national economic recovery and the regeneration of coastal communities.”

Tim Morris, of the UK Major Ports Group, said UK operators were “developing ambitious proposals to respond to the freeports opportunity”.

Source: Read Full Article