Intelligence Briefing 19th November 2015

Subscribe to Campaigning news feeds

Published

Sign up today to receive your weekly Intelligence Briefing > 

In this issue: Weekly Focus: EEF publishes Spending Review Submission | Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson visit the EEF Technology Training Centre l EEF meets Minister of State for Universities and Science | Infrastructure on the agenda with Shadow Transport Secretary | EEF briefs Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury on Spending Review priorities | EEF meets Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs | Energy Secretary announces new direction for energy policy | EEF continues devolution engagement | In Parliament | In the media | Blogs from this week                                               

Weekly Focus: EEF publishes Spending Review Submission

Earlier this week EEF published its recommendations to HM Treasury ahead of the Chancellor’s joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review announcement.

Our policy proposals centre around government’s role in enabling businesses to secure productivity improvements through investing in technology, innovating and exporting; providing world class infrastructure and a predictable and competitive cost base. Our recommendations are also in line with the Government’s commitment to reduce the deficit in the UK’s public finances over this parliament. Key points, which have been discussed in detail with officials, Ministers at the Department for Business and HM Treasury and the Opposition front bench, include:

  1. The government should maintain investment in innovation through Innovate UK and fund the Catapult centres so they can sustain the “one-third, one-third, one-third” target financing model.
  2. Reform of export support should preserve UKTI’s outward-facing, customer service element which businesses are familiar with. Export support services should remain with UKTI.
  3. The apprenticeship levy must be not be diverted into paying overhead or start-up costs, the policy objective that firms which train should receive more than they pay in should be implemented at the level of individual firms as well as in aggregate, and employers should control the way levy money is spent though the voucher system.
  4. Funding for both national and local roads should be protected, with no further diversion of money from roads into railways; the hypothecation of VED should fund both local roads and Highways England; and this protected funding should be anchored in a longer-term National Infrastructure Plan.
  5. Local Growth Deals and the Single Local Growth Fund should continue as a competitive funding stream.
  6. Government funding to the British Business Bank (BBB) should be maintained.
  7. Do not alter the current taxation basis for pension saving, whereby contributions to pensions and the growth in pension funds are both tax exempt, but income is taxed at the individual’s marginal rate. The loss of the relief would be an unbudgeted, substantial and additional business cost.
  8. Change how rateable values are calculated for business rates purposes. The inclusion of installed plant and machinery, as part of the calculation, represents a tax on productive investment – we recommend that plant and machinery should no longer be included.

For further information please contact Lee Hopley, Chief Economist

Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson visit the EEF Technology Training Centre

Last Thursday EEF welcomed the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, and Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, to our Technology Training Centre in Birmingham, along with the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, Khalid Mahmood. They had an extensive tour of the centre and met a group of current apprentices to hear about the work that they are doing. They also heard about manufacturers’ current priorities, particularly ahead of the Spending Review. EEF’s Technology Training Centre is purpose-built to train the UK’s manufacturers and engineers of the future in world-class facilities replicating a real manufacturing environment. It runs over 40 different technical training courses and trains around 250 apprentices a year in a variety of vital skills including milling, CNC machinery, Mechatronics, Fluid Power, welding and fabrication.

corbynvisit1 

Corbynvisit2

For further information please contact Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs

EEF meets Minister of State for Universities and Science

EEF met the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, to discuss key issues for manufacturers ahead of the Spending Review. Key themes included support for science and innovation including collaboration between universities and business; the relationship between business and higher education providers; and the apprenticeship levy.

For further information please contact Felicity Burch, Senior Economist

Infrastructure on the agenda with Shadow Transport Secretary

EEF met the new Shadow Transport Secretary, Lilian Greenwood MP, to brief her on our priorities around airport expansion, road networks and HS2. We agreed that the focus should be on maintaining the local road network, and that the Spending Review should act as a boost for additional funding of transport. We will continue to engage with Ms Greenwood on members’ infrastructure preferences.

For further information please contact Christopher Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Advisor

EEF briefs Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury on Spending Review priorities

Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, met EEF Chief Executive Terry Scuoler for a briefing on manufacturers’ Spending Review priorities. Ms Malhotra, who is the MP for Feltham, expressed significant interest in the importance of rebalancing the economy and will be visiting EEF member companies as part of a fact-finding tour in 2016.

For further information please contact Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs

EEF meets Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EEF met Alex Cunningham MP, the new Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to discuss Labour’s environmental policy priorities and outline manufacturers’ priorities in this area. We also discussed policy developments around carbon capture and storage (CCS), the circular economy and the streamlining of environmental legislation such as REACH. EEF will continue to engage with the Mr Cunningham and the shadow team to ensure manufacturers’ needs are represented in the party’s environmental policy.

For further information please contact Claire Jakobsson, Head of Climate, Energy and Environment Policy

Energy Secretary announces new direction for energy policy

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, set out the government’s new energy priorities for this Parliament at an event attended by EEF this week. The Secretary of State outlined a clear commitment to redress the imbalance of priorities under the so-called ‘energy trilemma’, placing a greater emphasis on security of supply and affordability concerns and placing the energy consumer at the centre of future policy decisions.

With the aim of delivering this vision the Secretary announced the energy security would be the number one priority in the coming years provided for, in principle, by an expansion of gas fired power stations. These will largely replace the UK’s coal fire power stations that government aims to close by 2025. A consultation on the subject will be launched next spring. Government is also aiming for 10GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020 funded through three new CfD auctions but only if stringent cost cutting targets can be met.

For further information please contact Richard Warren, Senior Energy and Environment Policy Advisor

EEF continues devolution engagement

EEF met Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, to brief her on manufacturers’ priorities for English regional devolution. Ms Spelman discussed the importance and success of LEPs in the West Midlands and agreed that there was a need for strong business engagement. We also briefed her on our Spending Review priorities and discussed other priorities for the West Midlands, in particular transport and skills.

For further information please contact Christopher Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Advisor

In Parliament

Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Bill Esterson mentioned EEF in an Opposition Day debate on the economy.

In the media

EEF published its Spending Review submission this week, which featured in The Times (£), The Guardian and The Independent.

Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to EEF’s Technology Training Centre in Aston was reported by ITV News.

The Guardian featured EEF Chief Executive Terry Scuoler’s comments on EU membership in a recent panel debate on the subject. Lord Mandelson’s address on Europe at last week’s EEF Annual Lecture featured in The Sunday Times (£).

The Guardian featured EEF’s comments on the situation in the current global export market. News that EEF is working with Government to encourage more manufacturers to export also featured in The Guardian.

UK Steel’s comments ahead of last week’s EU summit on steel continued to generate coverage in The Financial Times (link unavailable) and The Guardian.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Blogs from this week

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

16 Nov 2015
A summary of EEF recommendations to government ahead of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement by Lee Hopley

18 Nov 2015
The gender pay gap falls to 9.4% but the devil is always in the detail.... by Verity O’Keefe

intelligencebriefingspotlight EEF Westminster Weekly

Sign up to receive the EEF Westminster Weekly - our regular round up of campaigning activities

Read more >
EEF campaigning for manufacturing blog Read our blogs on the latest government thinking

Read views, opinions and insights on the things that matter most to manufacturers. Learn what we are doing to shape policy for the benefit of our industry.

Read more >
Online payments are not supported by your browser. Please choose an alternative browser or make payments through the 'Other payment options' on step 3.