As new government tax incentives are announced, Dave Thomas, Managing Director at award-winning machinery specialists Haffner Murat, says the case for automation has never been stronger.

New rules introduced by the government mean that you could cut your tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 you invest in machinery for your business. Investment in machinery is always a wise move, but there really never has been a better time to do it.

The government is calling its new initiative a super-deduction. From 1st April 2021 until 31st March 2023, you will be able to claim a 130% super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments and a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets.[1]

This is a great deal for businesses, but there are good reasons for the scheme. It’s very easy to think that you can’t afford to invest in machinery. Many businesses have thought just that – investment in machinery by the manufacturing sector declined after the 2008 financial crisis. But the truth is you can’t afford not to.

I’ve always said it, but investment in plant and machinery makes a massive difference to productivity. In fact, there’s a clear correlation between the manufacturing sector’s decline in investment in machinery since 2008 and our slower rate of productivity growth compared to other countries.[2] As a result, the average French worker produces more by the end of Thursday than their UK counterpart can in a full week.[3]

The importance and value of machinery investment is something more and more businesses are now recognising. We have seen strong growth in sales of our automated packages since the return to work following the first lockdown. And enquiries have surged following the super-deduction announcement. This not only shows the demand for our machines but demonstrates how fabricators are prioritising investment in their businesses for the immediate and longer term.

Two of our most popular machines are our SBA-2 PVC-U Profile Machining Centre and SBA-4 PVC-U Profile Machining Centre. Both machines are available with routing and sawing stations that can be mixed and matched to meet precise individual requirements. Every element of the machines has been designed to improve production quality and accuracy and allows you to scale your output up or down as demand dictates.

Alongside these machines, we have an ever-expanding range of Haffner Murat machines, which offer innovative and high-quality engineered machinery at some of the most competitive industry prices. We are also the agents for FOM and Italmac aluminium fabrication machinery.

To support our customers and keep pace with growing demand, we’ve recently made significant investment in our business.

We’ve just opened a new 37,000 sqm purpose-built factory in Istanbul, Turkey to manufacture our machinery. Here in the UK, we doubled the size of our headquarters in 2019 and are just about to add a further 1,990 sqm extension. Part of this expansion will be a new showroom that I know fabricators will find very useful. When we speak about the benefits of automation, they often sound too good to be true. Our showroom will mean we can demonstrate more of our machines more often so fabricators can see for themselves the difference they can make.

Our investments will help us keep lead times to a minimum and allow us to supply from stock more often. It means we can get businesses up and running with their new machinery sooner rather than later, so they can start to reap the rewards more quickly.

Our expansion is exciting news because it shows that confidence is returning to the industry and fabricators are getting serious about productivity and growth.

And as a business we have a strong track record in supporting our customers in achieving their ambitions. We’re passionate about the potential of automation but we’re equally passionate about serving our customers well. We work closely with you to make sure you’re making the right investment for your business. It’s why many of our customers return to us time and again when they’re ready to upgrade their machinery or expand their operations.

So, if you’re keen to boost the productivity of your business, investment in machinery is the way to do it. And there really never has been a better time. There are considerable tax incentives and – when you choose Haffner Murat – shorter lead times that deliver rapid transformation.

[1] HM Treasury: Budget 2021 – Super-deduction

[2] McKinsey Global Institute: Solving the United Kingdom’s Productivity Puzzle in a Digital Age

[3] Financial Times: Britain’s productivity crisis in eight charts


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