The much trumpeted £2.3bn government scheme set up in January to provide funding for UK carmakers has yet to help a single firm, a committee of MPs has discovered.
The Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP) was established to provide loans for investment in future technologies but the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee described the programme as a “wasted opportunity”.
The Department for Business said it was working with 10 companies to fund projects worth about £2bn through the scheme.
“It is important to understand that the AAP is about long-term investment projects, rather than short-term rescue, we have to work at the pace demanded by the companies and also have to consider the best interests of the taxpayer.” Said a spokesman for the department.
The assistance programme was set up to help car firms with manufacturing facilities within the UK and major car parts suppliers but its critics have said it is not flexible enough.
Peter Luff, chairman of the MPs’ committee said “When it was announced, AAP represented a genuine opportunity to help the automotive industry, but it is now December and not a single loan or loan guarantee has been made. It is up to the government to prove us wrong, but they must ensure that funds are released to companies very quickly.”
The fact that no AAP funds have been released may be down to the recovery of new car sales thanks to the scrappage scheme.
Source: BBC News