Press Release

RIA responds to the Chancellor's Spring Statement

23 March 2022

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community, has responded to the Government's Spring Statement announced today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
 
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), commented: “The railway industry appreciates we are in turbulent economic times, and so it is welcome that Chancellor Rishi Sunak today set out some helpful support for businesses generally, including on innovation.

“However, the Chancellor’s statement could have provided more certainty for key economic sectors like rail. Certainty has little financial implication for the Government but really does play a crucial part in supporting rail sector jobs and investment.

"Whilst there were of course many areas for the Chancellor to address, the fact that rail is not mentioned anywhere in his speech or supporting documents is concerning, when one considers rail contributes £43bn in economic growth, sustains over 700,000 jobs and generates £14 billion in tax revenue for the UK.

"This issue of certainty really is crucial to rail businesses right across the country. Whether it is not publishing the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline, almost 900 days after it was due, or visibility of specific plans to decarbonise and digitalise the railway in the years ahead, certainty and visibility for the future costs very little, but has a major impact on rail business confidence and its ability to deliver most effectively for the taxpayer.”

Notes to Editors
1. The Spring Statement can be found here.
2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). www.riagb.org.uk

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