One of the leading trade bodies, the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) has urgently called for further direct support from the UK government for the printing industry during the coronavirus crisis.
As the voice of one of the UK’s key manufacturing industries (with a £14 billion turnover) the BPIF reported unprecedented pressures on its members, the vast majority of whom are small and medium sized enterprises.
‘The impact of Covid-19 is equivalent to a natural disaster. Targeted and intense government support to those businesses and individuals in need will minimize the biggest harms and enable our industry, and the economy, to recover more quickly once we are through the worst. This needs urgent and immediate action; we know government are listening carefully to UK Industry and we hope the announcements later today will reflect our feedback,’ said Charles Jarrold, CEO of British Printing Industries Federation.
The federation has been asking the British Government to implement several measures including extension of business rates relief beyond the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, in order to match the economic impact being felt more widely across UK businesses. BPIF is also appealing for widening of the key worker category to include skilled workers in key supply chains in the print and packaging sector, deferment of VAT, PAYE and NIC payments, direct support for companies and individuals to reduce and avoid the impact of layoffs and six months delay to the implementation of the increase in the national minimum wage.
The BPIF also indicated that it is necessary to provide an immediate support and guidance for manufacturers, to lend them the confidence that employees can be retained and paid during the business downturn and, for companies having to consider lay-offs, measures to help affected staff.