MARITIME AND OFFSHORE Union RMT today responded to the Chancellor’s Budget statement.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“The furlough extension is welcome but if taxpayer investment is to create good quality seafarer, port and offshore energy jobs in a green recovery, then regulation of the supply chain, trade union recognition and good quality apprenticeships are absolutely essential.
“Our seafarers will also want to know how the 6% increase in Corporation Tax will affect the Tonnage Tax scheme. On Freeports, national insurance relief on new jobs will create a two tier workforce and turn these regions into bargain basements for multinational companies to enjoy increased profits at the expense of workers’ safety, employment rights and public services.
“This is no model for sustainable economic growth and handing control of ports to international conglomerates is casino economics.”
Notes to editors
1. The Chancellor announced a rise from 19% to 25% in Corporation Tax on profits from April 2023.
2. The Tonnage Tax is a levy on notional profits based on the weight of the ship. KPMG has estimated that it results in a nominal Corporation Tax rate of 1-2%. To date, company groups in the Tonnage Tax have enjoyed tax relief amounting to £2.165bn since 200-01. Training of UK seafarers is provided in return but not on the scale required to relieve seafarer skills shortages.
3. The Treasury’s Freeport Bidding Prospectus states: “The government intends to enable employers operating in a Freeport tax site to pay 0% employer NICs on the salaries of any new employee working in the Freeport tax site.”
4. RMT organise seafarers, offshore energy and port workers, including in Harwich International Port.
5. The Chancellor announced that eight Freeports will be created in England, at: Felixstowe & Harwich, East Midlands Airport, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.