Intelligence Briefing 12th February 2015 | EEF

Intelligence Briefing 12th February 2015

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In this issue: Rt Hon Ed Miliband to speak at EEF National Manufacturing Conference | EEF discusses Budget and General Election priorities with Business Secretary | Briefing Treasury on key priorities | Trade policy, employment law and EU reform on agenda in Strasbourg | In the media | Week in review | The week ahead

Rt Hon Ed Miliband to speak at EEF National Manufacturing Conference

EEF is delighted to announce that Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition, will be delivering a keynote speech at our National Conference in London on Thursday 26 February. This will be a valuable opportunity to hear from and question the Labour leader on his priorities for industry ahead of the General Election.

The conference promises to be another excellent event with other high profile speakers including Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Energy; Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at The Financial Times; and Brian Holliday, Managing Director at Siemens Digital Factory, among many others.

For more information or to register for the conference visit our conference website

EEF discusses Budget and General Election priorities with Business Secretary

This week EEF briefed Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, on our key Budget asks, which include measures on Business Rates, Capital Allowances, R&D Tax Credits and more support for exporters. In addition to these asks, we also sought support from the Secretary of State for Business on our key ask that the Chancellor brings forward compensation payments for the costs of the Renewables Obligation (RO). Rather than wait until April 2016, EEF believes that payments should be made soon after State Aid approval is given. RO represents the most significant element of climate change policy reflected in consumer bills, costing around £14/MWh during 2015/16, and has a serious impact on the competiveness of electro-intensive manufacturers in the UK. EEF will be releasing its budget submission in the next few weeks, and we will be holding further meetings on these issues in the coming weeks with ministers, officials and the opposition.

For more information contact Gareth Stace, Head of Climate and Environment Policy

Briefing Treasury on key priorities

As part of our Budget engagement, EEF briefed a senior Treasury adviser and senior civil servants on issues it is including in a submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We briefed Eleanor Wolfson, a Special Adviser to George Osborne, on our arguments in favour of bringing forward the compensation package relating to the renewables obligation, in support of energy intensive industries. EEF is also pressing the case for improving access to research and development tax credits and putting employers in the driving seat on apprenticeship funding, arguing for a new voucher model. More details will be available when EEF publishes its Budget submission in the next few weeks.

For more information contact Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs

Trade policy, employment law and EU reform on agenda in Strasbourg

Trade policy, particularly the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and employment law, including labour market reforms and better regulation, were high on the agenda as EEF met with MEPs, assistants and political advisers in Strasbourg this week. Accompanied by colleagues from EEF’s European Association CEEMET, EEF met with Bulgarian MEP Georgi Pirinski from the centre left Group of Socialists & Democrats and discussed his work on the EU Parliament’s Employment Committee. EEF also met Chair of the Internal Market Committee (IMCO) and East of England Conservative MEP Vicky Ford and her new colleague on IMCO, West Midlands Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton to discuss better regulation. EEF will continue to engage with these key contacts on these issues in the months ahead.

For more information contact Fergus McReynolds, Director of EU Affairs

In the media

The news that Ed Miliband will be speaking at EEF’s National Conference was reported in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mirror and BBC News.

EEF’s calls for a UK infrastructure authority featured in The Times. We were also quoted on the latest IoP data in The Financial Times (£).

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

UK trade

The deficit on trade in goods and services narrowed by £1.6bn in Q4 2014 compared with Q3 2014. It now stands at £7.1bn. The trade in goods deficit also narrowed, from £31.6bn to £29.4bn. The goods deficit narrowed in Q4 due to both falling imports and increased exports, particularly exports of manufactured goods.

Index of production

Manufacturing output increased by 0.1% between November 2014 and December 2014. The main contributors to the increase were computer, electronic & optical products; the manufacture of transport equipment; and the manufacture of food products, beverages & tobacco.

The week ahead

17th February: Consumer prices; producer prices
18th February: Labour market statistics

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