Markets / DATA & RESEARCH / Dec.13
The UK furniture industry has called on the Government to review subsidies that are threatening manufacturing jobs and have caused the price of timber to shoot by 55 per cent over the past five years.
The British Furniture Confederation (BFC), a collective of UK furniture industry trade associations, launched its FIRA commissioned report into the impact of biomass subsidies on the British furniture industry in front of MPs at an event at the House of Lords last night (Dec.12).
As a result of the Renewables Obligation woody biomass subsidy, energy generators are being financially incentivised to burn wood to create electricity, which the report says has resulted in the market for timber being distorted, causing prices to shoot up more than half in five years and putting UK furniture manufacturing jobs under threat.
The BFC wants the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Energy and Climate Control (DECC) to launch a thorough review of the potential employment losses and impact on the UK economy due to the woody biomass subsidy. It has also called for a planning moratorium on biomass power generation plants, a number of which are in the pipeline, while the review is carried out.
The BFC also questioned the environmental merits of the subsidy, suggesting that locking in carbon through using timber for products such as furniture was more beneficial than burning virgin timber.