Intelligence Briefing 29th January 2015

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In this issue: Reshoring roundtable at the European Parliament | Transport investment on the agenda with Department for Transport’s Permanent Secretary | EEF meets with new Head of the Committee on Climate Change | Labour Party engagement on Energy Intensive Industry Compensation Package | Political parties put women in the workplace on the policy agenda | In the media | Week in review | The week ahead

Reshoring roundtable at the European Parliament

This week, at the invitation of West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre, EEF took part in a panel of speakers at the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Better Regulation Working Group roundtable to discuss our research on reshoring. Other speakers included Daniel Korski, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister; David Caro, President of the European Small Business Alliance; Michael Mychajluk, Supply Chain and External Engagement Manager at Jaguar Land Rover; and Tony Caldeira, Founder and Managing Director of Caldeira Group.

For more information contact Madeleine Scott, Senior Policy Researcher

Transport investment on the agenda with Department for Transport’s Permanent Secretary

This week EEF met with the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, Philip Rutnam, and his senior team to discuss future transport investment and priorities in the next Parliament and spending review.

EEF stressed the importance of the road network to manufacturers, in particular investment in the strategic road network and for maintaining the local road network. The discussion also touched on milestones for the airport expansion debate in the next Parliament and a broader look at the interplay between future funding for transport and the English devolution debate.

For more information contact Christopher Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Adviser

EEF meets with new Head of the Committee on Climate Change

EEF met the new Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Matthew Bell, to discuss key climate change issues concerning manufacturers. Of key importance was the CCC’s decision on its approach to and the timeline for the Fifth Carbon Budget, which is expected at the end of this year. EEF stressed the need to keep future carbon budgets in line with the UK’s commitments emanating from the EU, as well as the need to fully engage with industry in establishing its final recommendations.

EEF also highlighted the importance of the 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap project, the outputs of which are expected in March 2015, in setting realistic emissions reductions pathways for industry in the coming decades. EEF took the opportunity to call for continued support from the Committee for the Energy Intensive Industries (EII) Compensation Package.

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

Labour Party engagement on Energy Intensive Industry Compensation Package

In continuing our key campaign of calling on the Chancellor to bring forward critical measures in the Energy Intensive Industry (EII) compensation Package, EEF met separately with Iain Wright MP, Shadow Minister for Industry, the adviser to the Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy, and the adviser to Julie Elliott MP, Shadow Minister for Energy, to seek their support ahead of the Budget in March.

This week EEF launched its detailed position paper, outlining why the Chancellor should not wait until April 2016 to compensate the most electro-intensive companies from the significant costs of supporting renewable electricity generation. We also updated them following the launch of the UK Steel Charter for British Sustainable Steel.

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

Political parties put women in the workplace on the policy agenda

This week EEF attended a Working Families conference with representatives from the main political parties – Jo Swinson MP, Employment Relations Minister from the Liberal Democrat party, Maria Miller MP, former Minister for Women and Equalities from the Conservative party, and Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Childcare Minister from the Labour party. All three speakers spoke passionately about the need to ensure that women were able to succeed and excel in the workplace.

Maria Miller MP focused on flexibility and affordability of work and the need to support the sandwich generation, with a growing number of carers now in the workplace. Jo Swinson MP championed the Government’s shared parental leave scheme but said far more needed to be done to tackle the gender pay gap, committing to introduce compulsory gender pay reporting for larger firms. She also questioned Government’s approach to employment tribunal fees and said this would be an area her party would look into. Alison McGovern MP focused on childcare and child poverty and suggested that zero hour contracts were a major cause of the latter. Labour have also stated that they will implement gender pay reporting and this will play a key part of their manifesto.

EEF will be hosting focus groups on how such proposals and wider employment policy proposals from political parties would impact on manufacturers. If you are interested in contributing, contact Verity O’Keefe, Employment and Skills Policy Adviser

In the media

Our response to the latest GDP data featured in The Financial Times (£), The Times (subscription required) and The Guardian. The Times (subscription required) quoted EEF in an article on the falling rate of the euro and its effect on exporters.

Week in review

GDP 2014 q4 (1st estimate)

ONS estimate that GDP rose by 0.5% in the final quarter of 2014, meaning that GDP in 2014 as a whole was up 2.6% compared with 2013. Output is now 3.4% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of Q1 2008. Manufacturing output is estimated to have grown by 0.1% in q4.

The week ahead

2nd February: Manufacturing PMI
6th February: UK trade

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