Following his hard-hitting message to Chancellor Gordon Brown, British Plastics Federation Director General Peter Davis said: “The Chancellor has had to reduce his GDP growth expectations for this year down from 2.2% to 1.6% due to a more realistic analysis of the poor business conditions.

“However, he predicts GDP growth of 2.5-3% next year which we believe is far too optimistic when we see no sign of an upturn in our industry, which will be hard hit by the rise in employers NICS in April.

“We are pleased that he announced no increase in Climate Change Levy rates. It appears our heavy lobbying has paid off since a rise was rumoured. But we are disappointed he did not announce an overdue review of this unfair and highly unpopular levy.”