EEF launches plan for growth | Members take their concerns to Brussels | Minister pressed on risk-based approach to tax | EEF calls on HM Treasury to improve stakeholder engagement | Weekly focus | Local Enterprise Partners and local economic growth | In the news | Week in Review | The week ahead
EEF launches plan for growth
Ahead of a major economic speech by the Prime Minister on Monday, EEF launched a 10-point plan for growth designed to complement the government's commitments on tax and spend. You can read more at our blog. You can comment on the plan via our twitter account @EEF_Economists, or via email.
Members take their concerns to Brussels
In the same week as a big EU summit meeting, a group of EEF members participated in our annual Brussels Delegation.
Meeting officials from the European Commission and the UK Representation in Brussels (essentially the UK’s embassy to the EU), company representatives raised and discussed a range of issues including, employment law, better regulation and the EU’s climate change targets. We were also joined by MEPs for a lunchtime debate hosted by Martin Callanan an MEP from the North East of England.
Finally, our guest of honour for dinner was the Employment Commissioner, László Andor. Mr Andor is the Commissioner ultimately responsible for policy areas controversial in the UK, such as the Working Time Directive and the Pregnant Workers proposal, and as such this was a lively and informative debate.
If you would like to register your interest in future EEF Brussels Delegations, please contact Steven Coventry, Senior External Affairs
Minister pressed on risk-based approach to tax
At the end of last week, EEF and members met with Exchequer Secretary David Gauke and Dame Lesley Strathie, Chief Executive, HMRC at a roundtable meeting in Cardiff to discuss the implications of cuts on HMRC and it's relationships with business. Building on our calls for a more competitive and predictable tax system, EEF stressed the need for HMRC to take a resist the pressure to hound small businesses for every single pence of tax they owe. With HMRC set to lose over 10,000 staff, EEF stressed the need for HMRC to take a risk-based approach to initiating enquiries with small businesses.
For further information contact Jeegar Kakkad, Senior Economist
EEF calls on HM Treasury to improve stakeholder engagement
During a meeting with HM Treasury this we again expressed our concern that allowance revenues from the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, projected to be up to £1 billion a year, will be used to support the public finances rather than recycled to CRC participants. We reiterated that it sent a worrying signal about how the government intends to engage with business going forward. We called on Treasury to significantly improve engagement in the run up to the forthcoming major consultation on reform of the Climate Change Levy and proposals for a carbon tax.
For further information contact, Gareth Stace, Head of Climate and Environment
Weekly focus – Local Enterprise Partners and local economic growth
This week the government set out its plans for promoting local economic growth and announced approval of 24 of the so-called Local Enterprise Partnerships which are intended to pick up some of the functions of the soon-to-be defunct Regional Development Agencies.
Having been briefed ahead of the announcement by a Minister from BIS, our response was to express some disappointment over the large number of LEPs which have been accepted. Before the announcement we argued that too large a number of LEPs would simply result in many of them lacking the economic and geographical scale to be effective. We also argued that to have too many LEPs, all bidding for funds from the Regional Growth Fund, would risk spreading the Fund’s resources too thinly.
However, we have now challenged the confirmed LEPs to improve their engagement with business and demonstrate that they can be effective in promoting local economic growth. We have also urged the LEPs to collaborate together and we will be engaging at a local level with each of them.
Further details on these announcements and links to the accompanying government documents are included in this briefing.
In the news
The issue of growth dominated this week's news. Our own proposals for growth were covered in the FT (requires registration) ahead of the Prime Minister's speech on the topic to the CBI conference, following which our comments were reported in the Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard. Separately our comments on Vince Cable's speech on corporate governance later that day were reported in the Daily Mail. Finally member company JJ Churchill was featured in a large article on manufacturing in the Daily Telegraph.
Week in review
Q3 GDP preliminary estimate
The Office for National Statistics released preliminary figures for GDP growth in 2010q3 at 0.8%. Although this was somewhat lower than the previous quarter’s growth of 1.2% it was double the rate of growth expected by many analysts.
Lending to individuals
Net Lending to individuals rose by £0.4 billion in September. This consisted of a rise in net lending secured on dwellings rose of £0.1 billion and an increase in consumer credit of £0.3 billion in September.
GfK NOP consumer confidence
The GfK consumer confidence index was up 1 point to -19 in October, which was above consensus expectations and reflected an improvement in consumers’ present and forward-looking confidence in their personal financial situation. However, confidence in the general economy over the next 12 months decreased by 1 point. Consumer confidence has remained fairly steady since June.
However, this survey period was before the government’s spending review, which is likely to impact on future sentiment.
The week ahead
Wed 3rd: Composite PMI
Thu 4th: MPC announcement
Friday 5th: Producer Price Index
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