NBRA calls for more action after Autumn Budget

The NBRA has recognised new support measures for industry in its Autumn Statement, but has called for further measures tailored to the automotive repair sector to ease the burden on under-pressure businesses.

Executive director Martin Rowley said: “In the aftermath of the Autumn Statement, NBRA acknowledges certain government initiatives supporting our members. However, we underscore the ongoing need for precise support measures aimed at sustaining the automotive repair sector amidst economic uncertainties.”

Among the measures introduced, the government has announced a further £50m for a two-year apprenticeship pilot. However, the Apprenticeship Levy remains unchanged.

Rowley said: “We highlight the urgent need for comprehensive action in response to the industry’s unanimous plea for the reform or elimination of the Apprenticeship Levy. The absence of a direct response in the Autumn Statement is a missed opportunity, jeopardising the development of a skilled workforce crucial to the repair sector. Currently, the industry faces a significant skills gap, creating a demand for fresh talent and new expertise.”

Meanwhile the government announced that the Corporation Tax rate will remain at 25% and the small profits rate remains at 19%, while a business rates support package worth £4.3bn over the next five years, which the NBRA welcomes.

Rowley said: “This move will significantly assist our members who have already been burdened by financial crises in the past years.”

He concluded: “As the Autumn Statement unfolds, we extend a call for collaborative efforts between the government and the automotive repair sector. We urgently appeal for the government’s support, providing essential relief for body shop employees navigating the escalating financial pressures during this challenging era of the cost-of-living crisis. Immediate action on apprenticeship reform, strategic support for workforce development, and targeted measures to enhance industry competitiveness are not mere suggestions but indispensable steps for securing the future of vehicle repairers. The NBRA remains committed in our engagement with the government to ensure sustained support for body shops and vehicle repairers.”