Intelligence Briefing 22nd January 2015

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In this issue: Manufacturers’ views sought for two government consultations | Energy, skills and economy on the agenda with Conservative PPC | Apprentices encouraged to get involved in national campaign | In the Media | Week in review | The week ahead

Manufacturers’ views sought for two government consultations

There are currently two important government consultations that EEF will be responding to in the coming weeks and we would welcome views from manufacturers.

HMRC has announced a consultation to improve access to the R&D tax credit for small companies. The aim of the consultation is to ease access to the tax credit by improving its administration. It is looking for information in four areas: whether small companies are aware of the credit; whether the rules are appropriate for small companies and the size of the claims being made; whether companies understand the rules for the R&D tax credit; and whether companies’ experience of the administration of applications is smooth. Further details are available on the HMRC website.

EEF will also be contributing to a BIS consultation dealing with new reporting requirements with regards to a business’ payment practices and policies. The proposals would involve large companies reporting quarterly on the proportion of invoices that are paid beyond the payment terms, average time taken to pay invoices and other payment policies. Full details can be found on the government website. We are keen to hear manufacturers’ views on these proposals both with respect to the compliance requirements and the value of this information to the supply chain.

For more information on the HMRC consultation, contact Felicity Burch, Senior Economist. For more information on the BIS consultation, contact Lee Hopley, Chief Economist.

Energy, skills and economy on the agenda with Conservative PPC

As part of EEF’s cross party engagement with candidates who are running in the General Election, we met with Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hertsmere and former Deputy Chief of Staff to David Cameron. The discussion focussed on issues of importance to manufacturers in Hertsmere and in the wider south east region, including energy prices, skills and government’s on-going commitment to rebalancing the economy.

EEF will continue to engage with candidates across all parties in the run up to the General Election in May

For more information contact Celia Surtees, Government Affairs Adviser.

Apprentices encouraged to get involved in national campaign

Manufacturers are being urged to put their apprentices forward for the national ‘Get In. Go Far’ campaign, which aims to demonstrate the great opportunities apprenticeships offer to businesses and young people.

Apprentices are asked to complete a form about what it means to them to be an apprentice and take a ‘selfie’ for the national and regional media to use as case studies.

For more information or to receive the form for apprentices to complete, email

In the media

The Financial Times (£) quoted EEF in an article on the levels of high-skilled jobs and graduates in the UK.

Week in review

Labour market statistics

The number of people in employment was up by 37,000 in the three months to November, compared with the previous three-month period. This was the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. The ILO measure of unemployment was down 58,000 over the quarter, and the ILO unemployment rate stood at 5.8% in the three months to November, compared with 7.1% in the same period a year earlier.

The week ahead

27th January: GDP Q4 2014 (1st estimate)

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