Intelligence Briefing 17th December 2015

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In this issue: EEF discusses state of industry with Deputy Labour Leader | UK Government receives state aid approval for energy intensive industry compensation | UK Steel meets with Committee on Climate Change Chief Executive | Manufacturing photography competition winners announced | UKTI market access barriers business survey | In Parliament | In the media | Week in Review | The week ahead | Blogs from this week                                               

This is the last EEF Intelligence Briefing in 2015. It will return on Thursday 14th January 2016.

EEF discusses state of industry with Deputy Labour Leader

This week EEF met Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour party. We briefed the Deputy Leader on the state of the manufacturing sector, and a number of the key issues affecting EEF’s members around getting access to the right skills, and the forthcoming EU referendum. We will be keeping in touch with him and his Shadow Cabinet colleagues in 2016, ensuring that they are well-briefed on the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy.

Tom Watson will also be delivering a keynote speech and audience Q&A at the National Manufacturing Conference on 24 February, providing an excellent opportunity for attendees to hear about and question Labour’s plans for working with industry over the course of this parliament.

For further information please contact Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs

UK Government receives state aid approval for energy intensive industry compensation

In a statement to Parliament on Thursday the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that the Commission had granted state aid approval for the UK’s compensation package for energy intensive industry. Compensation for the costs of the Renewables Obligation and Feed in Tariffs was first promised at the 2014 Budget, to start in April 2016. But EEF has continued to push for early introduction as policy costs increasingly undermined competitiveness and profitability. This year’s steel sector crisis galvanised action, with ministers promising to pay compensation from the date state aid clearance was granted by the EU Commission and to take steps to tackle the regulatory hold-up in Brussels. Compensation will now be paid to the majority of the energy intensive sector, back-dated to the 17th December 2015. The implementation of the full package relies on the success of a second state aid application still sitting with the Commission.

For more information contact Richard Warren, Senior Energy and Environment Policy Adviser

UK Steel meets with Committee on Climate Change Chief Executive

UK Steel met with the Committee on Climate Change’s Chief Executive, Matthew Bell, following the publication of the Committee’s advice on the level of the Fifth Carbon Budget. The Fifth Carbon Budget places a cap on UK emissions for the period 2028 to 2032 and requires a 57% reduction in emissions compared to 1990 levels. The meeting focussed on the steel sector crisis and the additional difficulties this creates in relation to the investment required to decarbonise the sector. UK Steel welcomed the Committee’s steel sector specific advice, which closely follows the findings of the industry-endorsed 2050 Industrial Decarbonisation Roadmaps. Following the outcome of the Paris climate talks, the Committee has not yet reached a decision on whether the UK should consider increasing its ambition but informed UK Steel there would not be an easing of targets.

For more information contact Richard Warren, Senior Energy and Environment Policy Adviser

Manufacturing photography competition winners announced

EEF and Lombard have announced the national winners of the annual manufacturing photography competition. The competition, now in its sixth year, aims to raise the profile of British manufacturing by showcasing the industry’s creativity, diversity and heritage through inspiring photography. The winners and runners-up of the professional, amateur and young photographer categories were announced at a ceremony at the House of Commons and shared a prize of £5,000 worth of Canon photography equipment. The competition will run again in 2016. For more information about the competition visit EEF’s website.

EEF03801MarkTomlinsonAmW 

EEF04055JakeSilverstoneYoungW 

EEF04260MikeSmithProW 

UKTI market access barriers business survey

UKTI is conducting a business survey about existing or potential barriers to trade and investment in China and Azerbaijan. The results will inform discussions at meetings with the two countries’ trade commissions in early 2016. If your business trades or is looking to trade with either of these countries, please complete the survey by Wednesday 23rd December.

In Parliament

Lord O’Neill of Gatley, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, referenced the results of EEF’s latest Manufacturing Outlook survey in a Lords’ debate on industrial productivity.

Speaking in Parliament, Barry Sheerman, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group, mentioned EEF’s manufacturing photography competition reception taking place on the Commons terrace.

In the media

EEF’s response to the Government’s decision to postpone its decision on South East airport expansion was reported by The Financial Times (link unavailable), The Times (£), The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail (link unavailable) BBC News and Sky News.

The Observer (link unavailable) referenced EEF’s latest Manufacturing Outlook survey in an article on the economic effects of falling oil prices. BBC News featured EEF’s response to the outcomes of the international climate negotiations in Paris.

The Times (£) featured this year’s national winners of EEF’s manufacturing photography competition.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

Labour market statistics

The employment rate rose to 73.9% in the three months to October 2015, once again surpassing previous records. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, it has not been lower since the 3 months to January 2006.

Consumer prices

CPI inflation rose to 0.1% in the year to November 2015, compared with a 0.1% fall in the year to October 2015. The main contribution to the rise came from movements in transport costs and alcohol and tobacco prices, which were partly offset by falling clothes prices.

The week ahead

23rd December: quarterly national accounts (Q3 2015)

Blogs from this week

14 Dec 2015
Here’s a Monday morning look ahead at the data and events relating to UK manufacturing by George Nikolaidis

14 Dec 2015
What role can policy play in supporting manufacturers to increase their exports? by Felicity Burch

16 Dec 2015
A review of labour market statistics in 2015 by Felicity Burch

16 Dec 2015
Our q4 Outlook survey shows that manufacturers' confidence to invest takes a step back going into 2016 by George Nikolaidis

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